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momentarily. they have 14 bills on the agenda. we will take your phone calls after they gaveled out.
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lest members to gather in these waning days, with wisdom, magnanimity, and a shared desire to serve our nation with a pivotal -- at a pivotal time for assault. bless the efforts for all have labored during these days and forged solutions to considerable problems facing our nation. i and the end, may we continue to trust that you may not abandon those with their trust.
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in all -- may all that is done this day before your greater honor and glory. amen. >> the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announced the approval. the journal stands approved. pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from texas. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. into the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> the chair will entertain requests for one minute speeches. >> you cannot have cookies
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without milk. that was a comment from my face looks -- facebook page. the american people get it. washington is addicted to spending someone else's money. the house has passed two bills that would avert the fiscal cliff. in august to pass a bipartisan bill. the house passed legislation to avoid sequestration by cutting spending.
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our plan is to take your calls and hear from you over twitter, and to wait it out, to wait and hear what we hear from capitol hill. our cameras are on capitol hill and we hope to be able to give you some coverage of briefings happening on the hill. so far, the house is out and the senate will be out shortly once they finish this series of votes. and it was 12:15 eastern, writing a major setback in fiscal cliff talks. you may have heard sheila jackson lee question this. that negotiations between harry reid and mitch mcconnell
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suffered a major setback after republicans demanded the inclusion of a new method for calculating benefits for the package. change came from progressives to result in lower payments. part of the current negotiations on the scale down deal, they say that they gave ground on other issues, including raising the tax threshold, as well as -- that was from two hours ago. sheila jackson mentioned the change that she objects to, she and other outside democrats and house progressives in particular. don is on the democrat's line. go ahead with your comments.
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caller: i am an old disabled veteran. i love this country so much. i cannot understand for the life of me what our government is trying to do with the bickering and tearing each other down, tearing the country down. why in the world can these supposedly intelligent groups of men and women not get together to work out for the best interest of all concerned, all 330 billion americans, what is the best course to take? just take it. none of this squabbling. get together, folks. let's have some harmony in warrington. that is what we need. we need more on selfishness.
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a lot less ulterior motives. no more 2000 page bills that no one can understand. we do not need more of that crap in washington. we need some representation. get your act together. >> we are going next to minneapolis, minnesota. john, welcome. >> all of this gridlock going on right now, what is clearly evident to me is that the republican party has pure interests in mind. they're willing to touch medicare and social security, but not their own salaries, no steps against their own party to take the needs of the american people. how can you act together with a party that works purely for
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their own interests. my question is -- what can we do as the american people to get them out of office? they were voted in by states that encourage these kindness of acts. what can we do to stop this kind of malarkey from continuing? >> this is the end of the lame duck session. the 113th will gavel in on thursday. regina, staten island. caller: i just wanted to say that after watching c-span and watching all of these discussions in the house, i do not see any form of compromise and it makes me worried as a citizen that we are not going to have our tax rates suspended and it clearly worries me. something else that i see is that $250,000 for some americans
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is not as much in certain parts of the country. the quality of life is certainly different. in new york, where i live, $250,000 is peanuts compared to living in a different state. you could have a huge house. if you are in new york, you will probably get an apartment. i see democrats, especially the president, as unwilling to negotiate with each other. my hope and prayer is that the country comes out strong by january 1 with extended tax breaks. >> here is a quick look at the tax increases, this is from " washington journal." "changes -- this is from "the washington journal."
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"many of these are expected to revert to clinton era levels." >> starting out the sunday shows, president obama with an interview on "meet the press." and their efforts in congress. here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> i am confident that we will see an agreement in the next 48 hours.
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if that does not happen, democrats in the senate will put a bill on the floor of the senate and republicans will have to decide whether or not they will block it, meaning that middle-class taxes go up. i do not think that they would want to do that, politically, but they may wind up doing that. if all else fails so that taxes go up on middle-class families on january 1, we will come back with a new congress on the fourth and the first bill on the floor will be to cut taxes on middle-class families. i do not think that the average person is one to say -- gosh, that is a really partisan agenda on the part of the president or democrats in congress. people will say -- that makes sense, that is what the economy needs right now. if one way or another we get through this -- do i wish that
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things were more orderly in washington, rational? that people listened to the best arguments, compromised, operating in an organized fashion? absolutely. but history shows this to be the exception rather than the norm. >> president obama and today's edition of "meet the press." speaker boehner in particular said "the president has never called for the senate to act on those bills, he has allowed the democratic controlled senate to lead our economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff. congress people from both parties are searching for a bipartisan solution. that is the leadership that america needs, not what we saw
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from the president this morning ." those of the comments from speaker boehner. the house has gaveled out. we expect them back in about two hours. let's go to newbury port. caller: thank you for c-span. i do not understand where this $250,000 number comes from. i am 70 and have never been asked to make a sacrifice by any congress. it just seems to me that if the average income in most states -- to ask people making $125,000 or more, to ask them to contribute more, that seems to be a no- brainer. i do not see why people in this country are not ready to make a compromise.
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let's face it, we will either all have to pay slightly more taxes and accept the fact that our benefits are going to have to be lower than they really are -- i am in that bracket of $125,000 to $250,000. i am very comfortable, i could contribute more to the deficit, i just want to make sure that that money goes to the deficit in reality. it seems to me that that number comes up and is a political situation and what congress is really saying is that i am going to pander to the 98% because if i go to 125%, i will upset more of the electorate. i was listening to david brooks this morning and his comments that the real dysfunctional people are not necessarily
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congress, but the american people who are prepared to pass these deficits on to our grandchildren. >> have you looked at how any tax increases might affect you? had you planned for that at all? caller: i am comfortable enough, i am planned -- and i plan to give more. i would hope that most people in my financial situation would be prepared to do that. >> the democratic line is next, california. donna, hello. caller: i would like to state -- i think that one of our biggest problems is that the republican party has sold us out to grovers inquest. i think that everyone who took that pledge should be fired from the congress. they took an oath of office first.
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they have given away the oath. i sincerely believe that your republican party has gone down the tubes with the tea party and the evangelical christians. we no longer have freedom of religion. they want us to believe what they believe, stuff like this. that is the reason why we are facing this cliff. because of that. >> let's go next to texas. john, welcome to the conversation. >> thank you for having me on. ivory with jerry. >> jerry said that he would be
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comfortable with his taxes coming up. caller: it should not just be the 48%. it should be the 51% below war not paying any taxes. if they want to live in america, they should otherwise go back to where they came from. if you have got people just sitting there in the 51%, just sitting without rolling, we need to get them out of the boat. here's the thing, if you have a house and cannot pay your bills, you shut off the cable, the cell phone, you get rid of the excess going to mcdonald's when you do not have the money. we have a spending situation in our government and no one wants to shut it off. the thing about it is the american people want to keep printing money, but there is a day of reckoning coming.
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when it comes there will be no military and we will have chaos. host -- >> it seems that much of that is focusing on the sequestration budget cuts and the cliff. set to happen and take effect on january 31. other members of other sunday shows -- by the way, we air all of the network's sunday programs on c-span radio. here is what they had to say this morning on "state of the union." [video clip] >> you have to focus on what will save this country and the president is doing nothing about
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the addiction that his administration has. >> i cannot not correct the record. those $700 billion, and all went to obama care. it was saved as part of a big spending program. here in washington people say cut while things grow. it is like having a freeze that is water and when it freezes, it expands. we have grown 100% in 12 years. the government is bigger and unless we do something now the government will continue to get bigger and the deficit will get bigger, even if we raise taxes on everyone there is still a huge deficit. if we do not take on spending, the fiscal cliff will be a downward slide to make us like greece, no longer a viable economic power.
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>> that was from the program " state of the union, close with this morning. a number of members of the house are point to try to make their way back for votes this evening at 6:30. the house taking up some 13 bills. here is how david hocking's of "congressional quarterly" termed this house session -- " >> nothing on the fiscal cliff, however. we will keep you posted on that. the senate gaveling out shortly
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for that caucus meeting in particular. taking a look at your twitter messages,-tag is fiscal cliff. -- the hash tag is fiscal cliff. >> also, this twitter message from about 30 minutes ago -- >> helen is in northport. you are on the air. caller: good afternoon. i am glad i lived in a country that allows me to make this phone call and speak my mind. i adhered to the u.s. constitution. rep. ron paul was giving his
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retirement speech and to his credit, to his credit -- to me makes a lot of sense. i believe him when he says our liberties are being weakened. i am so sorry that they tried to discredit him. he makes a lot of sense. he bases his thinking on the founding fathers and their intentions. i am not very clear of the fiscal cliff. i understand that we are in trouble. the middle east situation that is going on is a can of worms. with our economic downturn, i am not so sure about that yet.
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even things like that mortgages, which is true. >> are you working? caller: i am unemployed, but i do? taxes. i stopped getting it in march of last year because of my health issues. >> unemployment is going to end, that is one of the expiring provisions. new castle, pa.. democratic line, jeanne. >> my main comments, i think that the problems, one of the main problems is the grover norquist pledge that the officials, mainly republicans, have taken. it should be deemed unconstitutional. no elected official should be
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allowed to take any kind of pledge. when boehner presented plan b, he could not even get a vote on it because it would raise taxes for the million-dollar people. this is definitely a problem. i also think that no entitlement should be part of this when it comes to the senior citizens. their social security, they do not get paid that much. >> she was mentioning the bill that the speaker had to pull because he did not have the votes, the one that would raise income over those making over $1 million per year. a news reporter from "the washington post" talked about the cliff. the minority leader has appealed to the vice president directly
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in a last-ditch deal to avoid a fiscal cliff. kerry reid stepped back from the talks on the senate floor. and he had yet to hear back from the. -- from them. we will show you comments in a short while ago. taking your phone calls on the fiscal cliff with two days to go, the house and senate vote in a session today. the house came in at 2:00 and they gaveled out shortly thereafter. we expect them to come back to take up about 1 dozen bills. we are expecting votes at around 6:30. it is also possible that the house rules committee could be to discuss potential legislation that could be agreed upon in the house and senate. let's go to william in st.
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paul, minn.. caller, how are you? >> doing fine. caller: -- caller: how are you? >> doing fine. caller: these problems for them are everyday trials and whatnot. there was a man who was laid off where i work that. >> what kind of work? caller: maintenance work. it was a situation where i was telling like -- i was prepared for the fiscal cliff. i have been prepared for the last three months, four months, saving my money. the people they are trying to tax, the people making $400,000, what ever, let them make the money. a fourth person, someone making
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under $200,000 for year, i would vote for them, but in reality i cannot. they are giving people opportunities to pay their bills. just like the twinkie situation. people did know what to take a cut, but now no one got a job. the company still got that money. caller: what kind of work -- >> what kind of work did you do before you were laid off? caller: i never got laid off. i am still with the company. talking about co-workers and their perspective. >> the minority appeared to vice-president joe biden in looking at a deal. here is what mitch mcconnell had to say on the floor of the senate.
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[video clip] >> we offered to work through the night to find common ground. staff informed us that they would be getting back to us this morning at 10:00 a.m., despite the obvious time crunch that we all have. it is now 2:00 p.m. and we have yet to receive a response to our good faith offer. i am concerned about the lack of urgency here. we all know we are running out of time. there is far too much at stake for political gamesmanship. we need to protect the american families and businesses from this looming tax hike. everyone agrees that that action is necessary. to get things moving, i have just spoken with the majority leader. i have placed a call to the vice president to see if he can jumpstart negotiations.
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the vice president and i have worked together on solutions before and i believe we can again. i want my colleagues to know that we will keep everyone updated. the consequences of this are too high for the american people to be engaged in a political message in campaign. i am interested in getting a result. i was here yesterday. we submitted our latest proposal at 7:00 p.m. last night. we are willing to work with whoever can help. there is no single issue that remains them possible sticking point. the sticking point appears to be a willingness and interest, with courage to close the deal. i want everyone to know i am willing to get this done, but i need a dance partner. >> [indiscernible]
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>> we have been negotiating now for 36 hours, or thereabouts. we did have conversations last night between staffs. we tried to come up with a counter offer to my friend's proposal. at this stage we are not able to make a counter offer. republican leaders told me that he and the vice president's wished them well. in the meantime i will try to come up with something, but at this stage i have no counter offer to make. i will say this, i think that
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the republican leader has shown good move -- good faith, but we are so far apart on so many issues. >> those comments from the majority leader, harry reid, before that, the minority leader, mitch mcconnell. from just 45 minutes ago. a few moments ago they said that they were cautiously optimistic. we continue to take a few more of your phone calls about the fiscal cliff on capitol hill. greg is on the democratic line. caller: fly comment is really independent, even -- my comment is really independent, even though i am registered as a democrat. i have been in a landscaping business for years and years. what i see as being the problem,
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as a man who watched and saw what happened with the country back in 1987 with the stock market crash, and i have seen this ever since, the way that we do business, we have lost our ability to see our country as a global units of business with the rest of the world. if you look at our national debt, the $16 trillion, and you look at the parlay of trade deficit that has occurred in this country since the early 1980's, it is remarkably very similar. this is money that is leaving the country that is not making its way back above and beyond what we produce. when i was watching cnn a couple of months ago, bali was talking about our trade deficit to
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china being $29.8 billion per month. that is just one country. you start to add up all the trade deficit that we have with all of these different trading partners over the years, i am sure that it is close to about $1 trillion per year. >> thank you for the comments. let's go to sarasota next. caller: good afternoon. the way that i look at it, as a 74-year-old professional pharmacist with a minor in economics, the reason i am independent is because republicans and democrats cannot seem to get it together. the biggest problem that we have now is the reason why we cannot
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do what we are supposed to do for the entire country. one middleman adnan grover norquist. someone who was never even elected. here is a man that has caused all the problems. all of the republicans have signed this pledge, which to me is unconstitutional. without him, we would not be talking today. >> salem, oregon, republican line. you are on the air. caller: good morning. as a college student, and i have listened to every single caller, this is an embarrassing day for our country. i am a first-time job hunter, unemployed, a college student with loans, i am embarrassed and
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looking at this situation. my life is going to be turned upside down because of this. legislators need to stop bickering with these comments. they need to come together and do something like this. i am embarrassed because of not -- because none of my legislators will do anything about it. >> who are your representatives? caller: [indiscernible] it is embarrassing. it was a good conversation and i said -- is there any way that you couldn't speak on the floor to this issue? he said pc would heat would do. he basically lied to my face. even though he may not think
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that, he embarrassed me. >> he never spoke to the issue on the floor? caller: not that i am aware of. >> florida, hello. caller: i am going to read a quote from the speech, the 2008 democratic national convention. the obama statement was -- many of my plans will cost money. he will pay for every dime by closing tax loopholes. "i will also go to the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work.
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because we cannot meet 21st century challenges with 20 a century bureaucracy. >> how would you rate the completion record on that? caller: i am not a real political person. i have not seen anything being done. there is just so much waste in the government, and they are asking people to, responsibly, fiscally, on their own, pay for this mess? >> we will take a look at your twitter messages in a moment. what is ahead for the fiscal cliff? some scary fiscal forces coming
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together -- >> a couple of quick look at twitter messages. >> another twitter message from barbara lee, texas. >> some levity to the situation from susan, who says --
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>> you can see all the latest twitter messages on c-span. -- c-span.org. lisa, what is the latest between the majority leader and mitch mcconnell? >> there is a flurry of activity as congress convenes for this rare sunday session and try to avert the standoff over the fiscal cliff. " we saw was senator reid on the floor. democrats essentially rejecting the latest offer from republicans.
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this latest proposal from the republicans deals not only with income tax rates and a state tax rates, but it is being discussed over the last 24 hours. this is something the president once talked about. this is part of a narrow agreement that is on the tax rate. president obama had initially wanted, earning and, above $250,000 for year. now they may be raising the
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threshold to 500,000. that kind of thing was more difficult for democrats, so we threw in an estate tax rate, which makes the deal more difficult. we will see. a bit of a standoff, democrats called it a setback. mitch mcconnell said that he reached out to joe biden and called joe biden and ask him to broker something. to take stock of where things are at. >> some sort of legislation in the senate could also be taken up by the house. what is the timetable for getting these things done? >> there's always a look at the
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time table. the house has a rule that requires legislation to be posted within three days. that said, it is difficult for americans to think of there is still time. the tax rates do not expire until tomorrow. even if you can get the machinery running, it still takes the desire to come to an agreement. >> what about coming in on the weekend and covering something like this?
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how difficult is this to follow? >> a long walk through the capital. this is the holiday season and there are decorations up around the capital. there was snow dusting the capitol yesterday. there definitely is that sense that it is that special time of year for americans. that said, i think everyone working here today knows that he's a serious issues that need to be resolved. it is just a day of work for some folks were here. >> thank you for the update. here on c-span, we will take you back live to the house when the gavel back in, likely to be in about one-and-a-half hours. lahore we are keeping our eye on
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possible briefings on the senate side for their caucus meetings. this is up to one hour, a look live outside the senate chambers in the ohio area. reporters are gathering and waiting for possible comments on the senate side. we can tell you that we are streaming many of the briefings of our website and we will certainly show them to you on our schedule as we get closer to the house gaveling back in. coming up next we will take you to a roundtable discussion on the issues revolving around a fiscal cliff from this morning's "washington journal." host: we are welcoming joshua gordon and stan colander.
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thank you for coming back. as we stand on the edge of the fiscal cliff right now, any chance that we do not go over? guest: that is pretty small. we are relying on the senate to avoid this -- to avoid a filibuster. then we are relying on the house who for the last several weeks could not take the lead. it is important to state that while the official deadline is december 31. they can continue to work until the new congress on january 3. we have more like three days for them to get something together. host: are we going over the cliff? what does it mean if we do? guest: in some sense, we're going over the cliff even if
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they reach a deal. when you look at the deal they have been talking about, there will still be a lot left for future decision making. even if they are able to extend tax cuts for the middle class and do not do much of anything else, you still have the haphazard dealmaking not touching any of the issues the parties said they were concerned about leading into the fiscal cliff. the payroll tax cut is going to expire. no one is talking about extending that. that is the one that gives the biggest bang for the buck. host: if a deal does get done, how much of the cliff aristo going to be staring at? guest: you are staring at one cliff, the payroll tax cut going
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away. that is 3% of every wage earner up to $100,000 or so. that will have a big economic impact. you are approaching the debt ceiling cliff which will be another standoff. i assume that is where we will get into the discussion of spending cuts that seems to be absent from whatever deal they are talking about. guest: if there is no deal, the full tax cuts go away. the tax increases and spending cuts will go into effect. about iran fiscal policy given the time. but something in between. maybe the minimum of $200 billion and the maximum of $600
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billion. host: some statistics with several charts on how it affects you in your income bracket. the richest 20% with scene increase of about $20,000 increase in taxes owed. for those making $60,000 and above, it would be around $1,100. those making up to $40,000, it would be about $364. for the poorest 20%, those making up to $20,000, about $120 in additional taxes owed. i want to come back to one of the comments you made earlier
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about relying on the senate. you have a blog. why so negative on the senate? guest: they have had more filibusters and requirements of super-majorities on more issues than in the history of congress or in any recent history. out, they haveing to get an agreement that is not filibustered. they have to have an agreement that everyone will let go with a voice or majority vote. any senator can get up and stop this from happening. think about some of the senators we're talking about. senator jim demint is retiring
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at the end of this congress. he will become the head of the very conservative heritage foundation. it might be good for him in his new position to be the person that stopped the tax increase from going to affect, who stopped the senate from voting for a tax increase. i am not saying he will do it, but it just takes one senator to stop this. this is the body we are relying on to get a deal. it is hard to imagine. host: josh gordon? guest: in 2011, a house proved unable or unwilling to act. it was a deal with senator reid and senator mcconnell that paved the way for the deal that led us to where we are now. the deal was located in the senate before the house jumped on. guest: this is a little different.
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he is right. that is what led to the super committee being formed. that failed. we ended up with the fiscal cliff. that was not a tax increase. one thing important to the republican base is tax increases. this becomes a more sensitive issue in the current environment. the debt ceiling is also important to the republican base, but not as important as taxes. host: we're taking your calls and questions in this segment with stan collender and josh gordon. the phone lines are open. right before christmas, the president told everybody to go home and come back and talk
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about this. how much movement did that stepping back give us? did it move anything at all? guest: it did not seem to change anyone's opinion. everyone is feeling more pressure to do something. it did not change the basics or politics. if members heard from constituents, they did not hear enough to change their views. part of this is we have not gone over the cliff yet. a lot of the pain and tax increases and spending cuts have not happened yet. to a certain extent, we need these things to happen for people to get upset enough to go to their senators and say make these things stop. that has not happened. the callers are angry about it but do not believe it is going to happen. host: we want to talk about how the stock markets have reacted since last week.
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guest: it seems the stock markets were reacting to every utterance of senators, which is a big problem. if you react to the utterances of politicians in the market since, you are losing. if senator reid says something and 11:00 and then speaker boehner says something at 1:00, nothing fundamental has changed in the negotiations or world market. why investors are buying and selling based on political speeches is beyond me. host: what index will you be watching? here is a headline from "the wall street journal" from friday. it shows consumer confidence in december drop iping steeply. what index will you be watching? guest: consumer confidence is a big indicator. there are a number of ways to measure it. if you look back to the august
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debt ceiling deal, i think people did not realize it at the time. if you look back at the economic data, you sought a major drop in consumer confidence around the time it became clear that politicians were arguing and not coming to terms. that is a severe problem in this recession the biggest problem is consumer demand is not strong enough to propagate a strong economic recovery. anything that dampens consumer demand is a problem. even if they make the deal, the damages done. you see your readers not being able to take simple steps. the deal they are about to vote on is identical to the deal president obama talked about the day after the election.
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all that has passed since then is time and various arguments back and forth. nothing fundamental has changed. they will be voting on a package almost identical to what they were going to do. guest: maybe they will be voting on a package that is similar. the frustration is clear in your voice. i have a number of wall street clients. from talking to them this week, there was a qualitative change in their tone and attitude. host: you worked as a financial communications national director with corvis. guest: the client wanted to believe something was going to happen. as of last monday, that attitude started to change. analysts were starting to downgrade what was happening. my only question was what took them so long. the signs have been there all
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year that a deal at the end of the year was going to be difficult. it turned out to be even more difficult than i assumed. guest: we are in non-partisan grass-roots organization devoted to educating the public about fiscal issues. guest: if we go over the cliff, it is not the end of the discussion. it is important people and not lose hope -- that people not lose hope for justice in what happens by midnight is the end of the discussion. the discussions will go on. i am relatively sure if we do not have a deal by december 31, there will be one in january. the damage to the economy would be too great. the public outcry will be significant i will be looking at the dow and s&p. those will get daily responses. host: we can talk more about the
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deals down the road. let's go to louann on the republican line. caller: to me, the fiscal cliff is a small smokescreen. the fiscal cliff that is coming is obamacare. nobody is addressing obamacare. i have to find out friday will be taxed 2.3% on any device used on us in any of the medical fields. my husband's doctor wrote out a prescription for a blood drop for january. he said i do not know how much this will cost you out of pocket because of obamacare. my husband is over 70. he said he did not know how much longer he would be able to help him because of obamacare. this is a smokescreen. when people find out we will be taxed on medical devices, even our vet bills will be going up,
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this thing is a joke. the liberals will be hit just as hard as republicans. the tea party warned you this would happen. host: let's give the guys a chance to comment on the health care law and its place in this debate. guest: is not part of the fiscal cliff. there is a tax increase going into effect because of the health reform act. it is not considered part of the fiscal cliff. in terms of immediate damage to the economy, the fiscal cliff has the potential to do more damage more quickly. there are other aspects of obamacare that are positive in terms of continued coverage for children up to 26 and a variety of things. every time i walk into an emergency room, i get angry at the number of people i have to
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in that -- i have to end up paying for basic health care for. people who walk in to get treated for a cold is something we all end up paying for. to the extent we can get health care for some of these folks in a way that would prevent the expenses from happening is a positive issue to be looking at as well. guest: if you are over 65 and can get medicare, there should not be any reason your health care or what the doctor can do for you will change with the new year. even if you are concerned about the doctor payments, that will be taken care of shortly. that is the one part of the fiscal cliff i am sure will be avoided before it affects medicare patients seeing doctors. guest: i am glad you said that.
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that may be one thing she was talking about. part of the fiscal cliff is congress has not yet done what they call a doc fix. is to index the reimbursement rates for medicare. -- that is to index the reimbursement rates for medicare. any health care provider under medicare. have the amount they get reduced by more than 25%. i think he is right. this will be fixed retroactively. in the meantime, there are a lot of doctors wondering if they can afford to take additional patients. host: that is the chart in the (new york times" talking about things that will happen in the next few months in terms of tax increases. it does talk about the payments to medicare providers falling by 27% if nothing is done.
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josh, i want to get your thoughts on this statement. some of us are hoping for the fiscal cliff. how much of that sentiment are you seeing? guest: i see a lot of it. we hear from people all over the country. we have been talking about reducing deficits and heavy responsible budgets for 20 years. if you go over the cliff and nothing changes, the largest single day of deficit reduction in world history probably because it is the $600 billion in debt reduction that goes into motion with the turn of the calendar. if you look at what that does to our long-term budget projections, we are in much better shape over the long term by going off of the cliff. the problem is we are still very
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slowly recovering from the worst financial crisis since the great depression. it is probably not the time to be having such a large deficit reduction. that is why groups have been focused on getting a larger deal that can make sure we do not have this extensive short-term deficit reduction but spreads it. over the longer term in deals with the spending programs that are unsustainable over the long term. if we start to deal with them now, we can do so adequately without too much short-term economic pain and helping the economy over the long term. go to patricia from wisconsin on the democratic line. caller: good morning and happy new year. i feel so sad for our poor
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country. congress is getting a pay raise. what are they getting a pay raise for? i wish they would start being adults. they should think of the whole country, not just certain aspects. the tea party is ruining our country. thank you for letting me speak. god bless the both of you. host: i want to take you to the cover of the december 31 edition that came out. it has the fiscal cliff scorecard. it has the list of losers, a long list. the list of winners is blank. i want to talk about the list of losers on the fiscal cliff.
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stan collender, how does john boehner come out looking after what happened? guest: it is hard to see anything positive. he took on negotiating for the republicans and failed to even get his own house to come along with some of what he wanted to do. now he is in control of the negotiations with harry reid. there is some discussion about whether he might be in trouble in his reelection as speaker. that is a long shot. it is unusual to unseat an existing speaker. it is possible. it is possible if he cuts a deal before his election, it could stop him from being reelected. host: what are the pitfalls for harry reid and mitch mcconnell as they negotiate today?
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guest: mitch mcconnell is up for reelection in 2014. if he agrees with the white house, it will hurt him in his district. rand paul -- mcconnell has less room to maneuver now than with previous deals. for harry reid, a lot of his reputation is on the line. can he put something on the floor of the senate that his own democrats will support? guest: the clearest losers are those unemployed and trying to get jobs. when we are concerned about deficits or not having a short- term deficit reduction, it is because of a concern for the economy. there are different prescriptions for the economy at different times. allowing the economy to slow down would be a drastic abdication of responsibility of
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everyone in washington. that is not to say everyone is equal in the blame where this is just something that washington does. that is not always the case. in this case, you have a recovery. you have people may be ignoring what common economic. 20 just to you do --, an economic theory which tell us to do. it hurts the american people, especially those looking for work more than politicians. guest: that was a list of names. one of the biggest losers politically is the defense committee. republicans were willing to throw them under the bus foin exchange for no tax increases. for the second time in less than
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one year, the defense community is being thrown under the bus politically. you have to ask whether their clout is as great as it used to be because of the situation. host: i suppose you would put federal workers on that list. guest: it is not just workers. it is all domestic agencies. if the republicans were insistent on supporting cortex's and higher defense spending, being forced to choose between the two, they will not risk the tax cuts. host: diamond dave writes this. chris jones writes -- i want to go to george from massachusetts on the independent line.
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caller: they are going to come up with the deal that they will not vote on until january. that way 98% of them can say they voted for the tax cut. that is all they are interested in. when they run for reelection, they can say they cut taxes. host: explain why it would be a tax cut after the new year. guest: here is what would happen. taxes will go up. the tax cuts in place will not be extended on january 1. congress and the president would have a choice about voting to reimpose the tax cuts that were there which can be spun as a tax cut relative to current law, compared to know where it would not be paid george, you may be right. the spin is possible.
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i think it is relatively easy to see through that. it may be enough for people to go back to their constituents and say i never voted for tax increases. i voted for tax cuts. the grover norquist's of the world will say it is the equivalent and you are just as guilty. host: will people be able to see that? caller: very few. if the politicians come back until gov. christie has it all -- if the politicians come back and tell grover norquist he had it wrong, he cannot argue against it because the law is the law. guest: i wish you were not so rational. that is not the way washington works. maybe you are right. host: we will go to denise from portland, ore caller: we would all be driving
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electric cars which would give everybody a job the last 30 years if they did not stop it because so many people are entrenched in oil money. we would have more democratically run businesses, which i do see in my home state happening more. i think that would solve a big portion of the problem. thank you. host: joshua gordon, what in the year energy issues are we looking at? -- >> end of the year energy issues are we looking at? guest: i am not aware of any major ones for the fiscal cliff. going down the road, and you definitely have some issues. there is the need for a new highway bill. they have had trouble passing highly legislation because no one is willing to increase the gas tax. our gas taxes are the main way
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we pay for the new roads and bridges and that kind of thing. i think it is a relatively short-term problem. long term, we're going to need revenue to solve our future fiscal burden. one of the most sensible places to raise revenue would be through a carbon tax or something similar. that can also help to reorient our energy priorities to cleaner types of energy. host: i want to note that you can go to the c-span fiscal cliff website to get the latest information. you should be checking back over the next 48 hours as things develop. guest: 8 the deadline this afternoon. the senate has set a self- imposed deadline for 3:00.
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host: is that senator reid's plan b? guest: it is clearly fall back. we will try to come up with negotiations. if not, we will bring a bill to the floor, he will tell the republicans. it will increase taxes on everyone earning over $250,000. it will fix the alternative minimum tax and extend unemployment. it would be those three elements. he would be saying to the republicans, negotiate with me. we can do to something better. otherwise, we will take a vote on this. i would expect this to be filibustered. that may play into what the white house wants, that would mean republicans having to take responsibility.
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john boehner did promise to bring up whatever the senate passed. he said we might amend it. an amendment process would almost certainly mean going over the cliff. host: sue is next on the independent line. caller: i think members of congress and the senate need to remember we are their employers. they need to negotiate until the deal is done. there should be no deadline. they should stay there until they cut a deal. if they do not, i think everybody should call their senators and members of congress and complain until they do. thank you. guest: interesting. constituents just reelected a bunch of members of congress. the chance to send a message would have been about november 6. host: what is more pressure on
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congress? is it constituents being upset? is it the markets? what will be the pressure point? guest: the markets, initially. that will be the way voters and investors expressed themselves. that is like a daily: how people feel about what is going on. if we go over the cliff in the markets tank, they will be hearing from their constituents. a lot of members of congress are hoping that will happen. it will be what it takes to move the needle. we need the peasants to storm the council. guest: we should be clear that some of the intractability on the hill is because they are expressing the wishes of their constituents. the tea party group was explicit about not compromising. they preferred their members
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take stands on theological positions and not compromise. that is how they wanted to be represented. to some degree, we have to honor the faithful representation of constituents. the problem is the system of government with the house and senate controlled by different parties is with our current institutions having that kind of ideological ground in from members of congress, it makes it difficult to pass legislation. i think that is what we're seeing. it is something we all have to grapple with, think about our institutions of government, how we are electing people who prefer not to compromise. in the next election, we either keep electing those people, we do not, or we pushed them to change the rules of the game so it is not as hard to get things done. host: we are talking with stan collender, national director
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with corvis communications and a former staffer for a number of members of the house and center. we're also talking with josh gordon. up next is shelleyguest: some or problems that we have is we keep electing senators and congressman who are not economists and they really know nothing about the economy but they do know about beagle finagling. making more policy to fix policies that wind up causing more problems in the first place. no. 2, we have so many in the media that cannot understand the
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issues at the core. until we come to grapple with this, we do not educate the people, spending is indeed the problem. payne will come, really, number one, by spurring job creation. you are taking out a dollar towards someone else is doing a job. saying things like capitalism is against the poor, but capitalism has brought more people out of poverty than any other system in the world. capitalism is the grandmother of
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the mall at this point. the further we get away from that, the further we will fall. >> -- host: did you want to respond? guest: as someone who is an economist, i can tell you that i know a lot about a lot of things and it does not work just on economics. i want to push back on the a idea that this is just a spending problem. number one, mathematically you can balance a budget by spending more or taxing more and spending less, or some combination of the two. polls show that the average american does not want spending cuts. no area of federal spending gets a majority of support for cutting. none, that is no. 1.
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you talked about this on your program, keeping the commitments that you made or changing the but -- the commitments that you made in the past. you kept using this phrase before, that most spending does not for the poor, but for middle-class taxpayers. this -- these are middle-class programs and this is why there is such widespread support for them. guest: you should look at the federal budget as being defense spending with an army. medicare and social security, we are rebalancing our long-term spending commitments. foreign aid, welfare, aid to the
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fore. medicare is projected to continue its increase. host: an issue that some of our callers have brought up this morning. they also wrote on twitter -- the very first thing included in the fiscal cliff should be the king -- cancellation of congressional pay raises. we read about this earlier today. where did this come from? was it a good time for members of congress to get a pay raise? guest: politically, it is never a good time. some of their expenses are paid for, but it is an expensive job, you have to keep two residences and that getting some of the
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expenses yourself. having said that, at the same time as we are in the middle of a fiscal cliff problem, it is never time to give your -- never a good time to give yourself a pay raise. host: did this bill, the blue? guest: that is typically the way that it happens. host: members of congress do not try to advertise? guest: i do not think so. if there want to do it, they should do it openly. i can remember a former republican leader of the house saying that they were proud of
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voting for this. gutsy, he keeps getting reelected. host: john, good morning. caller: thank you for having me on. we do not have the new jobs and as far as china is concerned, we do not put that high of a tariff on imports. i think it is a lot higher to tax our imports in our country. the whole thing with steve jobs, he created the apple computer in his garage in california. if steve jobs was born in china, he would not even have a garage.
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we do not do enough for the people of this country or the people in a position to create jobs. data reinvest and i do not think that they should get tax breaks. creating jobs here, not overseas. host: joshua gordon? guest: i think a part of your frustration, many talk about fixing it in a mutual way. which had nothing to the deficit discussion and does not help to make lowering the deficits any easier. there are some things we need to
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change. in general we need to realize that if we set the country on the right path and make the right investments in technology and education, making sure we do not cut the necessary programs to do the growth, you have to make that a priority. we will be able to grow with the global economy. manufacturing has already come back to some degree. i know that apple is moving a couple of production facilities back to the united states from china. the real key is making sure that we are continuing to invest in those kinds of investments. we should also realize that apple can produce the goods in china in a more cheap and efficient manner than here.
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because american consumers can get an ipod or and i from on a much discounted basis from what it would be if we tried to do it all here and if we do not spend money on the iphone sphere, that is a new industry of productivity. something that people have made much more of love in the united states than they would have if they simply manufactured those devices. it is just a question of keeping our workers educated and making sure we have advancements for the future. host: more on the continuing series, this is from "the new york times."
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host: we are going now to lynn the on the independent line. linda? caller: i cannot understand why a handful of bureaucrats are able to control all the american citizens. if they do not do the job, instead of electing people, why
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not throw them all out and appointing someone? but i do not understand the way the economy has gone, cutting down on energy. because they want that clean energy. if i was in their, they would have me assassinated within a week. i would take on the line-item veto. their pay would be cut. instead of having a set of rules and laws for them, when they take taxes it would make it harder and the middle class. this is so much fraud in
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medicaid, medicare, social security. i see it everyday. if they could cut down on fraud, that would eliminate some of it. the government is spending all the money before. guest: first of all, it is not always fraud and abuse. 25% of the budget is not waste, fraud, and abuse. much of what you are suggesting is a change in the constitution. elected representatives may not be doing what you wanted, but the typical representative does a good job in voting the way they -- that their constituents want them to vote.
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one of the problems we have the the moment is the country is incredibly divided. these are all difficult votes on anything economic. host of this from twitter -- guest: but we do like them calling in. host: we do. theresa, good morning. caller: i would like to talk a little bit about the fact that stephens said something about the one republican senator. what about harry reid and the veto on everything that comes
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from the house if he does not like it? the filibuster is that harry reid can decide he will not take it up, but they cannot filibuster? guest: first of all, the filibuster is not in the constitution. it is not a pocket veto, but it is something only the president can do. you are right in the sense that the majority is what determines what the agenda will be. john boehner decides what will come to the floor and when. you just saw it in the house. the unwillingness of john boehner to take up the extended
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tax cuts. this is not anything new. this is a long tradition in both houses. you have a split congress with both sides not working together. you are exactly right, this is the majority of one house, moving into the other. host: are you still there? caller: i agree with his explanation, but everything comes across two very read and he does not bring it up for a vote, then my senator, that meet stabbed now -- at least cavanaugh -- debbie stabinau, does not get her chance. she never gets to prove herself.
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that is what i am concerned about. for example, they make the same amount of money that i do, owning a restaurant. i pay three -- $30,000 in taxes, now the government is asking me for $40,000? how is that fair when we make the same amount of money but my business makes me -- makes more? how, i do not get charged at the uaw rate? guest: it tax law is complicated and complex. you're giving tax of the profits the to earn, not the total revenue that you bring in. if you have a restaurant that is burning, you should be proud of the job you are in and it is
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a little bit frustrating, which in the stand. i cannot really defend the tax code. this does not mean that she is not there, representing your interests. this legislation that emanates in the senate, but she's not voting specifically on things from the house of representatives. guest: what -- host: what is the timeframe for dealing with this issue? guest: we have -- we are going to hit the debt ceiling in a day or two. but we will make sure that we continue to borrow money and the
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open market. after this we will not be able to pay off the bombs that we have and we reached this kind of crisis point. people grossly underestimate how damaging that would be. probably financial markets would come to a hall for a day or two if we were not able to my on the open markets. money andit really is a hard c, much worse than the fiscal cliff in terms of capacity for economic damage. it is one of the things that does not make much sense. it definitely does not mean that members of congress will be agreeing to incur another trillion in debt. all it does is allow us to borrow from the decisions that have already been made by past congresses.
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when they do a tax cut or spending increase that is destined to increase the chance that we will borrow more. it is not a break or a statement on past or future policy, it is something that allows the economy to move and that is a problem. it is unusual that a country such as ours needs a device where ultimately congress is allowed. guest: if there is one change that i could make in the process, it is that when you vote for a tax cut or spending increase, you also have to vote to increase the amount of the government borrows to finance that. that is immediate. without admitting that you increased the debt at the same time.
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host: gene, good morning. caller: i wish that c-span or someone would give us a public list of the names of the congressman who will not help the american people. it is easy to be afraid of grover norquist and the tea party, but they should be afraid of the voters. they do not need a pay raise. they're making $170,000 per year for saying no to everything that helps the american people. guest: you said something very interesting to begin with, get a list of all the people not willing to help the american people. you need to understand that for some folks, not voting for -- voting for a tax increase is not helping the american people.
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i travel around the country. i can tell you that it is not a question of texas and new york, it is houston and dallas. the difference between what people want, are willing to expect -- willing to except and think is appropriate, that is the essence of the issue here. if you look at the polls, when it comes to the budget, everyone wants the government to do what it is doing now but they want to pay less for it. a good track, if you can figure it out. host: joshua gordon is the policy director for the concorde. thank you for joining us this week. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> since that conversation, not
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much has changed. we expect the house and senate to be back in at 4:30 eastern. the senate is in recess subject to the call of the chair. right now they are meeting in the separate caucuses on capitol hill to discuss their potential resolutions to the fiscal cliff. we are hoping to hear from harry reid outside the ohio corridor. we will bring you those comments live in the next couple of minutes as the happen. ultimately we are going back to the house at 4:30 eastern, we expect. focusing this time specifically on what should be given up, what each side should be given up in terms of discussions on budget
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cuts. here are the numbers. bfor republicans, 202-585-3881. for democrats, 202-585-3880. for independents, 202-585-3882. but we will get to your phone calls in a moment. before we went out we spoke to a capitol hill reporter on where things stand. joining us is lisa, congressional correspondent for "the tribune." what is the latest between harry reid and mitch mcconnell? >> it has been a flurry of activity as they try to deliver
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this standoff. democrats essentially rejected the latest offer from republicans. republicans, this was the latest proposal from republicans, dealing not only with income tax rates and the state tax rates that have been discussed over the last 24 hours, but the new element of trimming back the benefits from social security and others in government programs. this is something the president has spoken about that would be part of a broader deal the democrats rejected today as part of the more narrow reasons for brokering on the tax rates. they still have a standoff where
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president obama had wanted to preserve all of the tax rates. now there is discussion of possibly raising that initial 500,000. that is the kind of thing that makes it more difficult for democrats. when you throw in the state tax rates, that makes it more difficult. senator mitch mcconnell said that he reached out to joe biden and called joe biden to help him broker something. behind closed doors, the respective caucuses on both sides, taking stock. >> let's say that there was some
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sort of legislation taken up by the house, what is the timetable for getting this work done? >> there is always the difficulty of the time table. the house as a rule that requires legislation to be posted for three days before there is a chance to read it. that said there is a deal where there can be a much quicker movement. i know this sounds difficult for americans to think that there is still time, but there is still time. the tax rates do not expire until tomorrow at the end of the day. even if they do not do something tonight, there is still time tomorrow. even if you can get the machinery running to get those votes on the floor, it still takes the fire.
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>> normally the house and senate end on a monday through friday, of what is it like to come in on a weekend and covers something like this? how difficult is this to follow? >> it is the holiday season, there are decorations up all of the capital. there was snow dusting the capitol yesterday. there definitely is that sense that this is that special time of year for americans, but everyone here today does understand that these are serious issues and this is a serious time. it is just stay and work for the folks were here. >> lisa, thank you for the update.
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that conversation is from about one hour ago or so. not much has changed. the senate will be back in a short while. but with expect more at 4:30 eastern. harry reid has been meeting with his caucus. republicans have been meeting on their side and the senate should be coming back in this afternoon as well. what would you give up in the fiscal cliff negotiations? let's go first to bridgeport, connecticut. thanks for waiting. >> i was thinking the republicans should drop the cpi issue that they have been discussing. it seems to me that they're working on getting it worked
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our for the estate tax. >> the chain on the consumer price index was a point of contention raised on the house floor. the reporting from politico earlier about the loggerheads' this afternoon, they say that the provision would result in lower payments for social security beneficiaries. boston, the independent go ahead. >> most companies in the u.s. are now headquartered in toronto. they make their profit in bermuda. we're spending 47 cents on the
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dollar on the deficit. we will have to do like canada and put a tax on gasoline. what is your opinion? what should we do to fulfill the debt and our obligation? >> what is your opinion? you said you are tunisia. would it work in the united states? >> we have to tax the gasoline $2 a gallon. in canada, it is $2 a gallon for gasoline tax. they are balancing their budget. >> i am going to let you go. we might be hearing something. thank you for your call.
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>> senator, where do things stand as far as the republicans? >> how republicans advanced a proposal last night. a counterl awaiting offer by the democrats. there was an indication we would have received that by 10:00 this morning. we have yet to receive it. there are discussions that continue. senator mcconnell and vice president biden are continuing to discuss this. we think there could still be a path toward. democrats have made a big deal about the cpi. republicans are concerned that not be used as an offset to replace spending cuts that were of region that would occur in the sequester. this is a process. there is a lot of give-and-take. republicans do not want to see
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tax increases be used for new spending. that is where many of our members are drawing the line. >> you want to use the cbi that would affect social security recipients. the sequester is $100 billion in cuts. democrats want to use new revenue from tax increases to replace it. >> there are other issues involved, but that is one example. cpi is not just about replacing a sequester today and putting in place a policy that will protect social security. if democrats do not accept that as an offset, then come up with something else. raising taxes to pay for new
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spending is not something republicans believe the debate should be about. it ought to be about reducing the deficit and debt. they are suggesting we want higher taxes on people in this country to pay for new spending. >> senator mcconnell who has spoken with the vice president. in the past, the two of them have been able to come up with bipartisan deals. did he give you an indication that might be an avenue of success? >> those conversations continued. we remain hopeful. what happened between the tip of leaders in the senate had broken down. senate democrats failed to come forward with a counteroffer to the proposal republicans. last night. hopefully discussions between the vice president and senator mcconnell will get us back on track and something we can go on
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to their tomorrow that would avert what we believe would be an economic disaster for the country. >> harry reid has said if you do not come up with something tonight, he will put a scaled- down version of what the president asked for on the senate floor. that is raising taxes on everybody making above $250,000 a year. do you think enough republicans will cross to the democratic signed -- site and allow that to pass? >> it is hard to say until we know what is in it. if that is where we end up, he ought to open it up to the amendment process. give us an opportunity to debate these things we think ought to be a part of it. what he will more than likely do is take a bill and prevent
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republicans from having an opportunity to amend it. we would welcome the opportunity to have an open debate on the floor of the senate that the american people can be part of. >> thank you. >> republican conference chair speaking with reporters outside the senate chambers. we expect to hear more. we are anticipating hearing from the majority leader harry reid. we will continue to take your phone calls. a quick check of the tweets we are following. here is one regarding the republican conference. mary, thanks for waiting.
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ahead with your comments. >> it seems strange in the discussion on social security they do not take into consideration the fact that employees and employers have paid into the social security fund. it has been too easy over the past decade for congress to dip into the social security trust fund. now it becomes a sacrificial lamb in the debates. congress is doing nothing about a farm bill. milk prices will probably go to $7 a gallon. the problem i have and i think the american people have is you have to admit we have too many politicians in washington. >> toledo, ohio, glen is next
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up. go ahead. >> i believe in these tax cuts the base of taxes was diminished. some people are paying no tax that were previously paying tax reform. the base of 47% of people do not pay any income tax. we need to extend the base so people feel a responsibility for the government instead of having either handouts or having no regard for what is happening because they do not pay anything. we need to extend the base. i do not expect people will be paying a lot, but they should be paying something. >> we heard from the republican conference chair john thune.
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we do not know about the democrats yet. there is a look outside the senate. the meeting likely to breaking up shortly. we expect to hear from democratic leaders shortly. we will continue with your phone calls. mary is in tulsa, okla., on our republican line. >> i was wanting to know about giving people on social secured the cost of living. if they are drawn for instance, they cut their food stamps. we do not understand why. >> speaking of food stamps, the headline in politico concerning the farm bill. the caller from georgia mention her concerns. a release from the chairman of
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the senate agriculture committee on the short term farm bill extension. "if a new farm bill is not passed in the next few days, agriculture committee leaders in both chambers have developed a responsible, a short-term extension that stops milk prices from spiking and prevents eventual damage to our entire agriculture economy." we go to california next, a democratic line, sandy, go ahead. caller: i think the republicans ought to realize it is time they stop playing politics and started governing the nation. they have not done that for over two years. there is nothing to negotiate. obama has laid down the terms. he won over 50% of the vote.
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the democratic candidates in both houses one over 50% of the people voting. when are the republicans going to deal in reality and joined the main geordie -- join the majority of the american people and start governing this great nation of ours? host: that is a look at the capitol. we expect the house back in as soon as 20 minutes. the senate also should not be out much longer. we are waiting for possible comments from majority leader harry reid and other senators on where things stand on the fiscal cliff negotiations. a proposal was submitted to the democrats last night from senator mcconnell's office. aline on our independent line from tennessee.
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you are on the air. caller: i like to ask the people governing the senate and congress and everyone else to try to live on social security after you have worked all of your life. you get this small thing of social security. that is what you have to live on. every time you turn around they are taking from everything. host: thanks for calling. it does appear the cost-of- living increases on social security payments is a bone of contention among some members. we will take a couple more phone calls and show you speeches from earlier this afternoon. a rare sunday session for the house and senate. senator barbara boxer and earlier today said this is the first time since 1962 the house
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and senate have met between christmas and new year's. i am not sure that is entirely accurate, but those were her comments earlier on the senate floor. don is on our republican line. caller: i was wondering if the contracts between the foreign nations and the aid that we support them with is a contract written in blood. the money we turn into the united nations, i do not know what could we get out of that. it seems like it will be nothing but harassment down the road. the taxes, you know are going to go up, because they're not going to cut spending. why do they not just put out a flat or a tax? has that ever been considered seriously? host: we will get a couple of calls.
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birch run, mich., and jim is on the independent live. caller: 5 will be 65. all my life, people have complained about taxes. i am retired on a fixed income. if you do not get involved and understand what is going on with your government, you could get the right people in office. people choose not to get involved. i am speaking from my context and things i hear on tv. we have to go along and take a little money away from everybody. that is the way it works. the price of bread is going to go up. this and that will go up. these politicians say we will not raise your taxes. they should stop saying that. that is the way it works. that is unless you want to start over with the money system, it
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is always going to go up. roads and schools cost money. some people cannot afford to lose a dime. i feel for them. i wish we could work at a system. you worked out a system and not take from people who cannot afford it. we cannot get it done because these guys are trying to take care of their own constituents because they're worried about getting reelected. host: as the meetings break up, we are beginning to hear from reporters. here is one from chad tweeting. this is talking about the fiscal cliff discussions between senator reid -- century, senator
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mcconnell, and the white house. they are now saying the tying in of the consumer price index, which many democrats expressed concern about, it is reported that will not be part of the ultimate deal. let's get a call from luke in sullivan, indiana. caller: i am part of a group of young democrats. it encourages us to think republicans will not look at raising taxes on raising rich people, yet they insist on raising taxes on middle-class people. they will not even want to talk about raising tax rates on rich people. that disgusts me. they will not even talk about raising taxes unless it is on social security.
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that enrages me. my grandparents rely on it. many people in indiana rely on that. it disgusts many people i talk to. it is simply disgusting. i do not know what they're going to do, but they need to leave social security and medicare off the table. they cannot afford to be taxed any more. host: here is a tweet. we are using #fiscalcliff. you will see all the comments streamed from viewers, reporters, members of congress, and others. c-span.org/fiscalcliff.
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we understand the democratic caucus meeting made the whole thing up. gina is on the independent line from tennessee. caller: i believe there needs to be a fair tax. all of this planning, we need to look at where we started and how much spending we're doing. the democrats are refusing to quit the spending. it is kind of like they're holding the noose on the gnp -- gop. i used to be a democrat but and now an independent. the entitlements need to be taken care of. i am not talking about social security and medicare. i am talking about food stamps and welfare and all of the people being pandered to since
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the beginning of 2008. host: you mentioned a fair tax. what do you like about that? what do you mean by that sort of proposal? caller: if you take the income of the ones actual working, actual tax payers, and do it to what they are making, if you make more money, you are going to pay more money. it should be a fair tax straight across the board. there is no reason why someone who makes $250,000 should make as much as someone who makes $1 million. we're talking about job creators. host: we are taking your calls. we're waiting to hear about the house. we will take you live when the gavel back in.
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we have been standing by outside of the u.s. senate with our cameras outside waiting to hear from other senators as their meetings break up. rita is in canton, ohio, on the republican line. what should democrats give up in the discussions? caller: democrats need to become more proactive. it seems like harry reid is not making a move on this, only blaming the republicans. they need to stop making the gop sound like the bad guys when obamacare is taking $716 billion from medicare. the republicans are not hurting social security. $250,000 a year is not a lot of income from people.
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they need to rethink a lot of that and do a fair tax, not just tax certain groups. host: stratford, conn., is next. beatrice, go ahead with your comment. caller: a want to know why they waited until the last minute to balance the budget, why they did not do their job earlier and would have had more time. host: i am going to let you go. you are feeding back. make sure that you mute your set when you call in. let's go to ron. caller: and 79. i have been a social security for a number of years. i have collected over $250,000 in benefits. i do not think i paid in that much. i think it would be wise to have a means test. i would be more than happy to have a reduced benefit if that
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would help to solve the social security problem. i also think medicare .0145 could be increased because of the increased costs. host: we are waiting to take you back live to the house. reporters are gathered outside of the senate waiting to hear from senators. we will take you there live if we are able. a couple of reporter comments. chad from fox tweets that one senator said republicans will not allow democrats tax increases. from the "wall street journal" --
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that is from "the wall street journal." we will take you to the opening speeches on the house floor. if we can, we will take you back to comment on the senate side on the fiscal cliff. >> mr. speaker, if you cannot have cookies without milk. tax reform and spending cuts, not one without the other. that was the comment on my facebook page from mike in texas. the american people get it. government does not because washington is addicted to spending someone else's money. the house has passed two bills to avert the fiscal cliff. the senate is missing in action. in august, we passed into a partisan bill, an extension of current rates for all americans through the end of 2013. the week before christmas, the house passed legislation to avoid sequestration by cutting spending. as usual, both bills lie in
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the graveyard of the senate. it is time for the senate to get serious about the root of the problem, spending. we got here by spending too much, not taxing too little. that is just the way it is. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> the anasazi were the cliff dwellers that build extraordinary places to live. in 1300 a.d., these great architects disappeared. the people of this great nation are dwelling on real cliffs' of fiscal and security -- fiscal in security.
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the cliffs of small business failure and investor uncertainty. the cliffs of violence at home and wore a broad. the government should be demonstrated capacity to meet the practical aspirations of the american people for jobs, education, health care, retirement security. the government instead would have america dwell at the edge of the fiscal cliff in a manufactured crisis' to manufacture a consent for a deal that would otherwise be unacceptable. leaders of both parties would do well to remember as great as the original cliff dwellers were, they disappeared. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, our country is facing a crisis. i am not talking about a made-
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for-tv crisis going on over the fiscal cliff. i am talking about the deficit. the national debt now stands at $16 trillion. at the end of this president's next term, it will be close to $22 trillion. both parties bear the blame. both branches. the responsibility. multiple administrations. just as everyone was involved in the creation of the problem, we need all hands on deck for the solution. it does not seem to be so. it is likely we will see growth at 1.3% in the last quarter. that will not cut it as long as we have a tax policy that punishes success, we will never grow our way out of this problem. when are we going to have the open congressional hearings where we focus on the waste and duplication in our federal
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agencies? it is far past time to focus on those areas and allow the public to see how their money is being spent. failure to act on the deficit will bring and the fabric of our -- will rend the fabric of our republic. i do not want to see that happen. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> recent reports have said this congress is the most unproductive in modern times. those studies comparing the number of roll-call votes and build past two previous sessions. the most important comparison is whether each congress rose to the challenge they face and were able to do big things on behalf of their constituents and the country. by that measure, there is no comparison. whether you supported the actions of previous congresses, there can be no doubt those congressional leaders who toppled and decisive action.
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unfortunately, the same cannot be said yet for this congress. to this point, it has failed to address the fiscal cliff that could be easily avoided before the clock strikes midnight tomorrow. there is still time to change the way history will judge the action or inaction of this congress. with crisis comes opportunity. we still have time to finish the job. let's not squander this opportunity to remove this congress from the ranks of the most infamous in history. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today wearing my space shuttle tie in front of my heroes and friends.
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tomorrow, mike is retiring as the director of the space center in houston. we have a few things in common. whoe both naval aviators love clear lake high-school basketball. mike did something not only dream of. he loved over 463 hours in space -- he logged over four to 63 hours in space. he fought to keep the johnson space center the home of spaceflight despite the retirement of the space shuttle's and cancellation of the constellation program. been i grow up, i want to t him. bravo, may you and your family always have fair wind and calm
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seas. i yield back. >> for what purpose does the gentle lady from texas rise. gentle lady is recognized for one minute. >> a share a desire to serve the nation in this pivotal time. it is enormously important that we come together. we can do it in a rationality it takes a simple analysis. simple analysis says a bag of potato chips is a luxury item. if i want to get a higher end cadillac, i will think about it for a couple days. that should be the thought process for the fiscal cliff. pass the bill that will give 99% of americans a tax break. protect those that are
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unemployed and work. 30 million taxpayers will fall over the cliff. if we have to deal with looking at how we address the question of reforming the benefits of americans who have worked, we can do so. i joined the aarp. a joint social security. leave social security alone. change cpi will not work. republicans created this quagmire with sequestration. we need to address the immediacy. cut the taxes for two under 99% of the american people. protect the unemployed. we do not have to go over the fiscal cliff. host: we will take you live now to the floor of the u.s. house.
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questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and concur with the senate amendment to h.r. 4057 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4057, an act to amend title 38, united states code, to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to develop a comprehensive policy to improve outreach and transparency to veterans and members of the armed forces through the provision of information on institution of higher learning and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, and the gentleman from maine, mr. michaud, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members would have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and add any extraneous material that they may have on the senate amendment to h.r. 4057 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i might consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. the senate amendment before us,
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h.r. 4057, as amended is another bipartisan and bicameral product of the worning of the house and the senate committees on veterans affairs to improve the effectiveness of g.i. bill benefits for our vetrans. i want to express my appreciation to the subcommittee on economic opportunity, chairman marlin stutman, and bruce braley, and our new full committee ranking member mike michaud for working with us to bring this amended bill to the house floor today. i also want to thank the chairman and ranking member of the senate committee on veterans affairs, senators murray and burr, for their support of this legislation as well. this senate amendment reresponds to concerns about how to ensure -- ensure that veterans make the best use of their hard-earned g.i. bill benefits. now, i think that by adding some very reasonable transparency requirements to information provided by schools, we have met those concerns really without overburdening our colleges and
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universities with needs government regulation -- needless government regulation. the bill as amended has four major sections. the first one reflects our vice chairman of the full committee, mr. bilirakis', original
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to assisting schools with questions about v.a. education, policy and processes. arched a fourth section would eliminate -- and a fourth section would have them get $395 million total in fiscal year 2013 which fully pays for the provisions in the senate amendment. and finally, if it properly implemented by v.a. and if the multitude of federal, state and local agencies charged with overseeing the education industry enforcing existing laws and regulation, there should be little need for
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further legislation in this area. the house committee on veterans' affairs will monitor the implementation of this legislation and the performance of the entire education industry. to ensure that these provisions achieve the desired result. i encourage all the members of this body to support the bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from maine, mr. michaud, rise? mr. michaud: mr. speaker, i wish to request to yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. michaud: in support of this legislation. thank you. i first want to thank the chair of the veterans' affairs committee and the staff of both the majority and minority in putting these two bills before us today. and i rise today in support of this bill, h.r. 4056, a bill requiring the department of veterans affairs to develop a policy to improve outreach and transparency to veterans and members of the armed forces
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through the provisions of information on institutions of higher learning and for other purposes. mr. speaker, our brave men and women of this country put their lives in harm's way to ensure that our freedoms are protected. their actions are without res. her vation or -- reservation or consideration to what may become of their lives. we must honor their services by ensuring that they have the opportunity to pursue the american dreams when they come home. this includes making it affordable for them to buy a home, protecting their employment while they mr. deployed and allowing them to -- they were deployed and allowing them to achieving a postsecondary education. they are ready to fight in combat if necessary and make the ultimate sacrifice. but when they return home, the battle to transition to civilian life can be difficult and frustrating. with the passage of the post9/11 g.i. bill, which
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provides generous education benefits, many veterans and their dependents took this opportunity to pursue a higher education and a better life. however, it is not enough to provide a benefit if the veterans do not have the proper information on the educational opportunities available to them. . they need the right tools at the right time to determine which what school is the best one for them. that's why i support strongly h.r. 4057. this bill will provide our veterans with the necessary information to make an intelligent and informed decision when deciding to pursue a postsecondary education or vocational training opportunities. education is a key factor for a successful professional life. particularly for service members that may have some difficulty translating their military skills to civilian employment. this bill requires a collective
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effort from agencies, institutions of higher learning and congress to help veterans succeed. furthermore, this bill can help ensure better, well-trained work force for a more competitive america. i ask my colleagues to join me to support h.r. 4057 and i respectfully reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. mitchell: mr. speaker, i'm now -- mr. michaud: i'm happy to yield to the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. bilbray: thank you, mr. chairman, i appreciate it -- mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. chairman, i appreciate it invest much. mr. speaker, i rise in support of this, the improving transparency of education opportunities for veterans act as amended by the senate. i am truly proud of my colleagues in both the house and the senate for putting aside partisan differences and coming together to move this bill
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through both chambers and the best interests of our true american heroes, our veterans. as more and more service members leaving active duty and use their post-9/11 g.i. benefits, there is an increased need for information to help them choose institutions of higher learning which maximized their benefits and best meet their future career demands. my bill as amended requires the secretary of veterans affairs to create a comprehensive policy which includes informing veterans about their eligibility for educational counseling, creating a centralized complaint database on schools, requiring state-approving agencies to better communicate with accreditting agencies, establishing how information will be presented and the transition assistance program and identifying commercially
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off-the-shelf-available software to assist sturents in choosing a school and evaluate their readiness to attend postsecondary institutions. i want to express my sincere appreciation to my good friend, chairman jeff miller, fellow floridian, and also the ranking member, mr. filner, mr. michaud, along with senators murray and burr, for moving this legislation through both chambers. i would like to thank also representative braley, the veterans service organizations and higher education associations for providing feedback on ways to improve this bill and their continued support going forward. mr. speaker, i urge passage of house resolution -- house bill 4057 and i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. mr. miller: we reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maine is recognized. mr. michaud: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee.
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ms. jackson lee: i thank mr. michaud very much. i thank him for his leadership on this legislation. i thank the chairman of the veterans committee and the author of the bill, along with mr. michaud, mr. bilirakis, for their leadership. texas competes with many states for the number of returning soldiers from iraq, formerly, and afghanistan and certainly is known for presence of veterans from almost every and i would say every single war. we are a state of military personnel and military bases and houston is known as well for the large numbers of veterans residing. i happen to represent the veterans cemetery and interact with veterans on a regular basis. we have a place where we hope will someday hold one of the
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major commands. so we see veterans every day and the opportunity in iraq, we know their dreams ands a separations, we know that of their family members. so i rise to support h.r. 4057, with the senate amendment, to particularly emphasize some very important points. i want veterans to be treated farrell. i want them to be able to build on the training and the amount of talent that they've built on in the united states military. this legislation protects them and acts to help them utilize the post-iraq and afghanistan g.i. bill, one of the most unique initiatives in the nation and one that we supported in a bipartisan way. this legislation will allow the v.a. to conduct a market survey of online tools that allow veterans to access their academic preparedness to pursue postsecondary education training opportunities and provide these veterans with a list of institutions that match the criteria. that is the achilles heel. veterans come back, they see a
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lot of advertisements, they're attracted to a number of institutions but they may not work for them. this kind of tracking and helping guide them will, one, say that we really appreciate you, we want to you use these resources in the best way possible. in addition, the v.a. will then be required or will be able to secure information from other departments like the department of education, to know about these institutions and guide our veterans in the best way possible. i see spread rans as i said all the time, i see homeless veterans, i see veterans seeking services, i see veterans in our offices. they see information. they want to be respected, they want to be able to crblet in today's society, to help their families and to use those skills . i believe that the gift we've given them in education should be a guided gift to give them the kind of road, pathway, if you will, that will make sure that these resources are used in the best way possible. so i support this legislation and i would finally say that i additionally support the bill
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coming up about the dignyified burial and other veterans benefits, just to specifically say, because of my district being -- having the veterans cemetery, because of the many issues that we have dealt with, in particular the cemetery in houston, this is great nuss to know that no veteran will be undermined in their burial, no veteran will be in an undignyified burial because of this legislation. i thank my colleague for moving forward on recognizing that our veterans have sacrificed for us. we need now to respect that and sacrifice for them. with that i yield back and ask my colleagues to support the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i'd like to inquire as to whether my friend has any more speakers. if not we would reserve the balance of my time. we have no more speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from maine. mr. michaud: thank you, mr. speaker. i have no further speakers and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maine yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized.
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mr. miller: thank you very much. again, mr. speaker, i once again encourage all members to support the senate amendment to h.r. 4057 as amended and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment to h.r. 4057. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- the gentleman from maine. mr. michaud: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. . for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. miller: i move to suspend the rules and pass senate 3202 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 3202, an act to amend 38 united states code to ensure that deceased veterans with no next of kin
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can receive a dignified burial and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, and the gentleman from maine, mr. michaud, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and add any extraneous material that they may have on senate 3202, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. miller: and i do yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. miller: senate 3202, as amended, is another bipartisan and bicameral product of the house and senate committees on veterans' affairs. it will improve the lives of veterans and their families. i want to again thank my colleague, the ranking member, mr. michaud, and all the members of the committee and the subcommittees for their
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advocacy in the provisions of this bill. i also want to thank senators from the other side of the capitol complex, ms. murray and mr. burr, for their work on improving these provisions. you know, it's great working with members that show that when it comes to veterans issues, both sides, both sides can really come together and agree on issues for the common good. the first pertains to cemetery matters. in june of this year, an inthe distinguished gentleman from nant veteran was buried in a cardboard box in my home state of florida. i, like many of my colleagues, was shocked and appalled to hear this news. and as a result several sections of this legislation directly address that specific issue and it will ensure that all eligible veterans, regardless of their personal or
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financial situation, will receive a dignified burial at a v.a. national cemetery. this will include providing v.a. the authority to provide a casket, yearn or other acceptable burial container with a veteran has no known next of kin and are unable to provide one. this legislation would also provide for more efficient communication between v.a. and local medical examiners and other agencies to ensure that eligible veterans with no next of kin will be properly laid to rest in a national cemetery. and it would also require that v.a. report to congress on its compliance with industry standards for appropriate burial containers. another section of title 1, authored by mr. culberson of texas, would direct v.a. to ensure that any memorial service respects the wishes of a deceased veteran's family to include the use of religious symbols or voluntary honor
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guards. given the numerous difficulties that many families face dealing with the difficulty of a loved one, ensuring that their wishes can be provided by a v.a. memorial service is the least we can do to honor the memory of that veteran. the bill would also protect those buried in the national cemetery by prohibited anyone convicted of a tier 3 sex offense and sentenced to life in prison from being laid to rest there. because v.a. national cemeteries are such sacred grounds, it is important that we preserve the honor of those buried there by excluding those convicted of the most heinous of crimes. this legislation would provide a pathway toward the establishment of the clark veteran cemetery located in the philippines as a permanent cemetery restored, operated and maintained by the american battle monuments commission. as the american battle monuments commission currently operates and maintains other
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overseas veteran sem tears it's the most appropriate entity to having the important fantastic of honoring our fallen veterans who have been laid to rest at clark. title 2 of this legislation contains provisions that will enhance our ability to provide for the health care needs of our veterans. it includes a measure, which would direct v.a. in coordination with the department of defense to establish and maintain an open burn pit registry for veterans of iraq and afghanistan who may have been exposed to toxic kimcals and fumes by open burn pits during deployment. many veterans have returned home from combat in iraq and afghanistan with serious questions and grave concerns about the possible long-term health effects of burn pit exposure. it's my hope that by establishing this registry we can provide them the answers and assurances they seek to
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provide better ways to care for them and future generations of america's warriors. under this title, v.a. would also be authorized to provide transportation services to and from v.a. facilities for veterans with health care appointments and in connection with vocational rehabilitation or counseling. veterans who live in rural community who are elderly, visually impaired or are immob due to disease and disability often face significant challenges in traveling to access services that v.a. can provide. it's our intent that v.a. will use this authority to implement and not replace existing programs such as the valued disabled american veterans transportation network, and as such this authority is being provided for one year. title 3 of the bill would require the department of labor to conduct a two-year pilot program offering transition assistance program training at offbase facilities in three to five states with high rates of
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unemployment among veterans. now, with the permission of the department of defense, national guard and reserve facilities could be used. virches and spouses would be eligible -- veterans and spouses would be eligible for the program to train those veterans who did not participate in the active duty transition assistance program or just need to refresh their job hunting skills. additionally, this title would require that judges of the united states courts of appeals for veterans' claims reside within 50 miles of the washington, d.c., metropolitan area during their service. such a requirement would put the veterans court in line with other federal courts located in the district which already have a residency requirement in place. and finally, this legislation includes four measures to name v.a. medical facilities in georgia, florida and washington and ohio after prominent veterans or civilians who performed outstanding services to veterans in the communities in which the v.a. facility is located. i want to encourage all members
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to support the bill, as amended, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair will clarify that the pending motion is a motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, s. 3202, without amendment. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maine. mr. michaud: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. michaud: the bill before us today, the dignified burial and other veterans benefit improvement act of 2012, s. 3202, is a minibus collection of veterans measures that primarily focus on ensuring that our veterans receive a proper burial in a reflects and honors their service. the bill also establishes and expands several health care and transition assistant benefits and names four v.a. health facilities after americans with distinguished honor. i appreciate the hard work of
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all of our colleagues in the house and the senate and of our staffs on the measures that were included in this bill. we all share the same goal -- helping our veterans and their families receive the benefits that they have earned and deserved. this bill advances that goal, and i support its passage. title 1 of this bill will allow the secretary of the v.a. to provide a casket or yern to those -- urn who die without identification or financial means, thereby ensuring that those veterans are laid to rest with the utmost of dignity. mr. speaker, there is also an allocation of $5 million in this title to attempt to address the longstanding maintenance, operation and ownership issues at clark veterans cemetery in the philippines. over 2,200 american veterans are buried at clark. along with soldiers and
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civilians of other nationalities. this provision will honor their sacrifices by setting up the process for clark to become a permanent cemetery administered by the american battle monuments commission. clark continues to accept burials, including those from iraq war. and to ensure a smooth transition, it is critical that an agreement is reached between the two governments before it can become a permanent cemetery. i am confident that the abmc will bring this cemetery up to its impeccable standards and that congress will provide it the resources to do so. title 2 of the bill confeigns a vital provision requiring the department of veterans affairs with help from the department of defense to establish a burn pit registry. this registry will be for men and women who may have been exposed to toxic airborne
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chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits. every time we send our men and women into combat, we need to do all that we can to properly assess their risk of exposure to toxins. it's been decades, and we still do not fully understand the risks associated with exposure to agent orange, causing many veterans to suffer without compensation. we should learn from this history, and this bill puts us on track to avoid repeating it again. title 2 mrs. would ensure v.a. transportation services to -- would also ensure v.a. transportation services and have a timely measure that would extend the reporting requirement for posttraumatic stress disorder through 2016. the rate of ptsd remains high in the veterans population. we must continue to keep this issue on the top of our radar. this is why we must continue to keep this issue before congress
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and the public so we can continue to provide the funding that's needed. finally, mr. speaker, title 3 of this bill contains and improved section that would direct the department of labor to provide transition assistance programs at locations other than military installations. these two pilot programs will benefit our members and their spouses to attend t.a.p. and to learn about their benefits. too many returning service members are unable to take advantage of t.a.p. this is especially true for members of the national guard and reserves who often return from war to find they lack the support the military community has provided them. the t.a.p. program is critical to service members. successful transition back into civilian life, and i'm glad to see it expanded. again, i want to thank the
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members and chairman miller for their leadership on this measure on this bill and i urge all my colleagues to support the passage. thank you, mr. speaker, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: mr. speaker, might i inquire how much time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida has 14 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield as much time as he may consume to the vice chairman of the full committee, the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of senate bill 3202. i thank my colleagues for moving this through the senate and grateful for the work they have done on behalf of our veterans. i'd also like to thank my good friend, my fellow floridian, chairman jeff miller, and the ranking member, bill filner, for the work they have done this congress to improve the
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quality of services for veterans, our true american heroes. this truly bipartisan piece of legislation incorporates language similar to h.r. 6073, legislation that i introduced in the house, after learning that private laurence davis jr., a world war ii veteran, had been buried in a cardboard box in a veterans cemetery not far from my district. this legislation ensures veterans with no next of kin and inefficient funds for a proper, dignified burial will receive assistance from the department of veterans affairs. our nation's heroes deserve to be buried in the same way they served our great nation, with dig anyity -- dignity, honor and respect. private davis deserved better. while we cannot rewrite what is
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already wrong -- in other words, that has already happened -- we can ensure that it doesn't happen again. this legislation is the right thing to do, and in the final hours of this congress, i'm very pleased that this chamber is taking action on this important piece of legislation. again, i urge passage of senate bill 3202 and yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maine is recognized. mr. michaud: thank you, mr. speaker. i have no further speaksers and i'd yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: mr. speaker, once again i encourage all members to support this legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 3202. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: i object to the vote
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on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the
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rules and concur in the senate amendment to h.r. 6328. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 6328, an act to amend title 49, united states code, to direct the assistant secretary of homeland security, transportation security administration to transfer unclaimed clothing recovered at airport security checkpoints to local veterans organizations and other local charitable organizations and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, and the gentlewoman from new york, ms. hochul, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous material on this bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, as vice chairman of veterans
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affairs committee and a senior member on the committee on homeland security, i rise in support of h.r. 6328, the clothe a homeless hero act which passed the house by voice vote last month and was approved by the senate with an amendment. according to estimates from the department of housing and urban development, in 2011 approximately 14% of all homeless adults were veterans. and with more than 67,000 veterans homeless on any given night. we must do all that we can, i know you agree, we must do all that we can to ensure that the veterans have so courageously served our country, are not forgotten, and are receiving the care and services they deserve. v.a. secretary has set a laudable goal of ending veterans ' homelessness by 2015 and has estimated -- he's established
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partnerships with other federal agencies such as h.u.d. to accomplish it. the bill before us today will forge another important partnership in our efforts to serve homeless veterans, one with the transportation security administration. each day as americans travel through screening checkpoints, mr. speaker, operated by t.s.a., and our -- t.s.a. at our nation's airports, many articles of clothing are left behind. in fact, t.s.a. reports that they collect up to 500 -- between 500 and 1,000 garments per day. h.r. 6328 directs t.s.a. administrator to make every reasonable effort to donate this unclaimed clothing to local organizations that serve homeless or needy veterans. i commend the house sponsor, mr. hochul, the gentlelady from new york, for this fine piece of legislation. i once again urge members to support this legislation and in
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turn support homeless veltrans. i reserve the balance of my time -- veterans. i reserve the balance of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york, ms. hochul, is recognized. mr. hoekstra: mr. speaker, i rise -- ms. hochul: mr. speaker, i rise in support of the clothe the homeless hero act and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. hochul: thank you, mr. speaker. yesterday my hometown paper ran an editorial that says homeless vets need our help. the reward for serving our country shouldn't be a life on the streets. mr. speaker, i couldn't agree more. we are here today to aid and honor america's veterans, especially those who have fallen on hard times, our most -- are most in need and are all too forgotten. as the american people rush through lines at the airport with their shoes, gloves, hats and scarfs and coat, it's easy to forget that so many americans go without these basic comforts during the cold winter months. i know this personally, i just
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flew in from buffalo, new york, where we have about a foot and a half of snow on the ground. it calls to mind the sense of a lot of people in need, particularly our veterans. as we rush, it's easy to leave behind these kind of garments. this is what happened to me when i left a scarf at the buffalo airport, coming to washington. as you've heard the t.s.a. has reported as many as 1,000 articles of clothing like mine are left behind at the airport checkpoints ever day and this does add up to thousands of pounds of abandoned clothing. at the same time, veterans are holmes -- homeless. this is unconscionable, mr. speaker. veteran homelessness is nothing more than a national tragedy. we must fully embrace the president's call to end veteran homelessness by 2013. we must work to end homelessness for all veterans, especially tchose heroes who risk their lives for our freedom. but until we end veteran homelessness we must do
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everything we can to aid these american heroes. i'm sure you'll agree there's no better purpose for unclaimed warm clothing than help america's homeless veterans. that's why i was so proud to introduce this act and work with my colleagues in the homeland security committee and senators to improve and advance this bipartisan legislation. this simple bill directs unclaimed clothing left at checkpoints like this to go to charitable organizations for distribution to homeless veterans and others in need. mr. speaker, this is probably my last speech on the floor of congress. i can't think of a worthier cause to champion, to make sure that our homeless veterans get the clothing they need and deserve. this measure is a simple, commonsense example of an opportunity for all of us, democrats, republicans alike, to work together and find common ground. clearly we need much more of that, particularly on a day like this. i know every one of us is proud of the work our men and women in
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uniform do every day and they're proud of the veterans who have come home. we need to ask ourselves, are they proud of us? let us make this bill be a template for the bipartisanship that our veterans, indeed our country deserves from the people they send to washington to represent them. i thank chairman bilirakis and my colleagues on the homeland security committee for supporting this legislation. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i have no further speakers. does the gentlelady have further speakers? ms. hochul: i'd like to yield such time to the ranking member of the homeland subcommittee on transportation security, homeland security, the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i want to thank the gentlelady from new york and i want to say first of all this will not be the last that we hear of your voice.
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and what a stupendous voice you have. thank you so very much for making this time on the floor a time that pays tribute to veterans, but also recognizes the outstanding service that you've given to this nation, to the committee on homeland security and your other committees, but more importantly, the passion that you've shown as a true american. i hope that we heed the voice that you just lifted up, that we owe to veterans not only this great legislation, but also the ability to come together and work on their behalf and all americans. again, thank you. thank you again for allowing me to comment on this bill as the ranking member of the homeland security, transportation committee. i thank mr. bilirakis. we have worked together on a number of legislative initiatives and i thank him as wls for his service, along with -- as well as his servicers along with chairman king and our democratic ranking member, mr. thompson, for their leadership. it gives me great comfort to be able to come on the floor today and say thank you.
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even though no one wants to see a homeless hero, a homeless veteran, i spent over the holidays time visiting a number of our centers where homeless veterans are and i can tell you that they are the most giving and charitable persons. many of us will be able to rount on thanksgiving day or depurg -- recount on thanksgiving holiday or during the christmas holiday to be able to serve veterans who unfortunately, not of their own doing, have fallen upon hard times, do not have a place to live and are coming to the various food pantries and food kitchens. it is one of great pleasure to me, not for their condition, but to be able to humbly provide them with a warm meal. this is a commonsense legislative initiative that says to homeless heroes, every day we're thinking of you. as a ranking member on the transportation security committee, i can assure you that transportation security officers are grateful to ms. hochul and to the senate amendment for giving them this chance to further their service to the nation.
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there are many things that are left behind and many times in the airport you hear that p.a. system saying, come back, come back to the security checkpoint, you've left your ipad, your coat, your shoes. what else could you have left? many times, unfortunately, those individuals are already on the airplane. and so we try our best, but we leave behind quality items that can be used for our veterans. the senate amendment expands this to other charities as well. but as the ranking member, i want to commend to our t.s.o. officers and our officers that are supervisors across the nation's airports and to our airports. yes, you have the opportunity to give to veterans, charitable institutions and others, but i encourage you, because of the ex tensive number of homeless veterans, that you give these items so that we can have not only resources but clothing to homeless veterans of whom we hope that we will provide a pathway to be able to get out of this status of homelessness, but also while they're doing so, to
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provide them with these quality clothing. so i again terrorize support h.r. 6328 as amended by the senate, to thank the author of this legislation, mr. -- ms. hochul, the gentlelady from new york, again remind her that she will not have a silent voice and this is a very grand and wonderful way to end at least your legislative service, your bill-writing service on this floor of the house and in this congress where you are serving the nation's veterans. we are forever grateful and i ask my colleagues to support this legislation and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady reserve the balance of her time? ms. hochul: mr. speaker, i yield such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, what i'd like to do is i'll reserve the balance of my time and i'll close once the gentlelady does. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. ms. hochul: thank you, mr. speaker. i again simply want to thank on the senate side, senator toomey and of course here my colleagues
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on the homeland security led by peter king and ranking member thompson and certainly chairman bilirakis and my dear friend, ranking member jackson lee, for all their support for this commonsense legislation, to assist america's homeless veterans. and with that i urge the adoption of the senate amendment to h.r. 6328 so this measure can be sent to the president for his signature and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i urge members to support this commonsense piece of legislation and if the president promptly signs it into law, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment to h.r. 6328. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. bilirakis: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present.
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the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and concur to the senate amendment to h.r. 4212, the drywall safety act of 2012. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4212, an act to prevent the introduction into commerce of unsafe drywall torningse sure the manufacturer of drywall is readily identifiable, to ensure that problematic drywall removed from homes is not reused and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from nebraska, mr. terry, and the gentlewoman from new york, ms. hochul, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from nebraska. mr. terry: thank you, mr. speaker. and i ask unanimous consent that
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all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials in the record on h.r. 4212. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the chair recognizes the gentleman from nebraska. mr. terry: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of h.r. 4212, an important bipartisan bill that to help fight the problem of defective chinese drywall. which at many families is a second plague whether their homes were destroyed by a hurricane or other disaster and then rebuilt using contaminated drywall from china. . the house bill passed last summer attacks the problem in three ways. first, it directs the secretary of commerce to engage chinese leaders and push for the manufacturers of the contaminated drywall to step up and take responsibility for the
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damages caused by their shoddy product. second, the bill requires all drywall manufacturers in the future to label their product with their name and the date of manufacture. the lack of such basic identifying information was a major problem for the homeowners who were stuck with contaminated chinese drywall which could not determine which manufacturer produced it. third and finally, the house bill requires the consumer products safety commission to restrict element tall sulfur in drywall unless industry voluntarily adopts an acceptable limit first. compliance with such a limit would be easy to check at the ports or elsewhere using simple handheld devices. the senate amendment before us today preserves all of these key aspects of the house bill making only a few minor changes. notably, the senate amendment
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provides that the cpsc may only enforce a voluntary sulfur limit if it is adopted by specified standard setting body. this responds to a concern that the voluntary sulfur limit to be a true consensus standard, that is the product of an open process that allows for participation of industry and consumers alike. mr. speaker, the senate amendment does not undercut the house-passed version of the bill, nor does it add any unnecessary government regulation. therefore, i strongly urge the adoption of h.r. 4212 and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york, ms. hochul is recognized. ms. hochul: i speak about the amended version the drywall safety act of 2012 returned to
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this chamber by the senate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. hochul: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the h.r. 4212 passed this september by a voice vote. that version resulted in bipartisan negotiations along with the leadership from the energy and commerce committee and subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade. i believe the house bill -- the house produced a good bill that met the goal of setting the u.s. government to take action regarding the drywall situation. the senate version we are considering retained significant portions of the house language. i intend to vote in favor of what the senate has sent back to us. just like the previous version, this senate version requires all new drywall be marked with a permanent label to identify who
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manufactured the particular sheet of drywall and when it was manufactured. a major problem many homeowners experienced, they didn't know who made the drywall in their homes or when it was made. the labor requirement should make it easy to make it easy to pin down who manufactured any sheet of drywall. just like the previously-approved house version, requires all drywall to be subject to a sulfur content limit. after an extensive investigation, sulfur is associated with the awful odor that homeowners were experiencing. the senate version specifies that the testing for metals, international standard for the label must be complied with. the house version would not take a particularly voluntary standard. cpsc would specify the standard to be complied with or failing that -- the senate version
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specifically grants responsibilities for the standard on sulfur content to a committee. both these changes were made because one trade association believed under the house version the cpsc could rely on a voluntary zarned did not have a process. there is not one instance that anyone can point to that they have relied on industry standards that would not produce or process that involve due process. the aftm standard setting body twice, the senate treated the rulemaking session. they granted authority to reduce the sulfur content limit or set limits regarding the composition or characteristics for drywall that are necessary to protect public health or safety.
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it becomes apparent there are other problems associated with drywall that we have not yet identified. the senate's version replaces the word reduced with modified so they have the authority to modify the sulfur content limit. the word modify encompasses reducing the limit. i continue to support this bill despite these changes because the time to act has long past. as far back as late 2008, consumers complained about homes that smelled like rotten eggs and itchy eyes and skin, asthma attacks, persistent coughs, bloody noses and headaches. blackened and could roaded metal components in the home. they received 4,000 complaints from residents in 43 states who believed these conditions related to the presence of chinese drywall in their homes.
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most of these complaints concentrated in the south where there was a construction boom in 2006 and 2007. the housing boom brought relief to homeowners and reduce the chances of something like this happening ever again. this does a few other things. it asks the secretary of commerce to engage the commine ease government to prod those companies that exported drywall to the united states to meet with u.s. officials about providing some sort of remedy to homeowners affected by this defecttive product. the bill asks the secretary of commerce to engage the chinese government to get the government to direct these companies to submit to the jurisdiction of our courts and comply with judgments that have been entered against them and calls on the revised guidelines of removal of
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drywall from homes and should not be reused or put back in the drywall production scheme. once this drywall is removed from one home we have to make sure it does not end up in another. despite issues with why this bill is back on the house floor, the democratic leadership and the subcommittee on commerce, manufacture and trade support this bill and urge my colleagues to do the same. mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nebraska is recognized. mr. terry: at this time, i would like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. rigell, who is the lead republican sponsor and his leadership on this is why it is back on the house floor again. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. rigell: i thank the chairman for yielding and my friend and colleague, the gentlelady from new york, for your support of
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this good bill. i appreciate that. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of the drywall safety act of 2012 as amended. and i urge my colleagues to vote yes on what is much needed and commonsense legislation that is going to come before the house tonight. for nearly four years, families across the country suffered from the harmful effects of defecttive of chinese manufactured drywall. their friends and neighbors, mr. speaker and their families that worked hard and saved and set out for that classic american dream to own their own home and finish their retirement years in a home and that dream turned into a literal nightmare when the home was filled with a mysterious and foul rotten egg type of odor. i have been in these homes and makes the home uninhabitable. it takes all the wiring in the home and it should be copper and
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turns into black soot and have to replace the compressors on the air conditioners and even worse, their health deteriorates. they turn first to the builders and the builders aren't covered by insurance. some were able to help the homeowners and renovate but many aren't able to do that and some builders have gone out of business. they turned then to the manufacturer of the contaminated drywall in china, but have no recourse there. it's a profoundly sad situation where americans through no fault of their own are experiencing bankruptcy and really terrible financial problems, but tonight, we have the opportunity to do what's right and stand with our friends and neighbors and pass this legislation and it will hold china responsible for failing to require their manufacturers to rightly compensate americans who have been really damaged and victimized by the contaminated products.
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and we express the undivided sense of congress, republicans and democrats working together, that we are going to make sure that china's held accountable for what they have done here. it requires labeling on all the drywall products to make sure we can find out who's responsible for the manufacture of each and every piece of drywall that's manufactured and it will limit the amount of sulfur in the drywall, which is the cause of all of this. and as has been pointed out by my colleague from new york, it's a voluntary standard than more massive government intervention and that's the right path to go. i thank my friends and colleagues for making this possible. the underlying legislation passed the house unanimously in september and the amendment that has been made i think is very modest. i want to thank my friend and colleague from florida, mr. deutch, working with me as co-chair of the chinese drywall caucus. thank you for your support on this piece of legislation.
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i yield back. mr. terry: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. hochul: i have no more speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from nebraska is recognized. mr. terry: republicans and democrats alike are united on this important health and safety issue. i urge all members to pass this amendment today. and get the needed consumer protections in place. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment to h.r. 4212. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- ms. hochul: mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that a quorum is not
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present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8, rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass bill s. 3472 the speaker pro tempore: the
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clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 3472 an act to amendment the privacy act of 1974 to provide improvement to such act. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from tennessee, mr. rowe and the gentleman from california, mr. miller, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks on senate bill 3472 the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. roe: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today in support of s. 3472, the uninterrupted scholars act. the bill amends the family educational and privacy act of 1974 to give the child welfare agency case workers access to the educational records of foster children. this is an important bill that will help improve the quality of
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education for children in foster care. in 2008, congress passed the fostering connections through success and increasing adoptions act, which tasks child welfare agencies while ensuring foster children are enrolled in school. agencies are required to require educational stability and coordinate with local school districts to ensure young people stay in their current school when placed in foster care or immediately enrolled in a new school if that is in their best interests. over the last four years, student privacy law had made it difficult to properly implement educational stability provisions of the fostering connections law. for example, child welfare agents are unable to access student education records in a timely manner if at all to monitor case work or get students nold in the proper courses if they transfer if the
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transfer school is necessary. the uninterrupted scholars act will correct these challenges by allowing direct and limited access to the educational records. case workers can follow the students' education in a timely manner and help ensure greater success in school. . we understand maintaining strong student privacy protections and support supervisions included in frpa. it is our responsibility to ensure student personal information such as academic progress, placement or disciplinary records is not shared with anyone other than officials directly involved in the student's education. for children and foster care, child welfare agents have a responsibility that to look out for the education of their students and have a direct need to help access for these important records. the bill before us today narrowly grants case workers access to these important records. mr. speaker, senate bill 3472 is
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a narrow but critical step in helping children in foster care receive a better education. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee reserves the baffle his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. >> i thank the chair and i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise to support of this legislation, to help foster children succeed in school. the uninterrupted scholars act will make a real and immediate difference in the lives of foster children across this country. mr. miller: i want to thank congresswoman bass and senator landrieu for their support of this legislation and for the senate sending this legislation back to the house and for chairman roe for managing this on the floor and chairman kline for agreeing to have this legislation come to the house today. in thanking congresswoman bass, i want to recognize her not only as the author of this legislation but for her leadership both here in washington and in the state legislature, in our state of
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california, when she served there on behalf of these young people, to make sure that they would have a better opportunity at success. foster children are some of the most average students. as a group they miss more school than their piers, are more likely to drop out, take longer to finish when they do graduate. throughout their young lives they may change care placements multiple times. each placement means adjusting to a new family, often to a new community, new friends and to a new school. each move can put their educational skk in jeopardy. that's because the case workers who advocate for them, as they move from one school to another, often do so without critical information. though current law rightly requires foster care workers to include children's educational records in their case plans, another federal law limits the ability of case workers to access those records in a timely manner. without access to foster child school records, case workers are limited in their ability to voket for the child's educational needs, especially as they move from one school to another or from one family to
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another. without these records, case workers don't have the necessary information to make important and informed decisions about placement, wrab-around services and credit transfers around schools and that means that those vulnerable children do not get the services that they need. this red tape creates unnecessary hurdles for educational successes for many foster children. and if there's one thing foster children don't need in life, it's an additional hurdle to jump. they have plenty of hurdles confronting them every day. as they try to succeed within the system. this legislation before us today makes narrow changes to allow foster care case workers to do a better job on behalf of these young people and i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i have no speakers at this time. i'll continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman continues to reserve. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: with that i recognize congresswoman bass from california, the author of this -- one of the authors of this legislation, and again thank her for her advocacy on
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behalf of foster children and foster families. the speaker pro tempore: for how long? mr. miller: five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. bass: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of senate bill 3472, the uninterrupted scholars act, a bill that will help foster children achieve educational success. first i want to thank chairman kline and ranking member miller for their support of this bill and their ongoing dedication toimproving outcomes for foster youth throughout the nation. i would also like to extends my sincere appreciation and respect to senator land rue. i am proud to work alongside the senator who is a tireless advocate for foster youth and families both domestic and worldwide. throughout 2012, the congressional caucus on foster youth has traveled the country and visited five states on a nationwide listening tour. we heard from youth, families and community leaders about the best practices and challenges facing the child welfare system.
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in miami, florida, at the invitation of congress members hafltings and wilson, we learned -- hastings and wilson, we learn about -- we learned about a commonsense, no-cost, elective fix that would have a positive impact on hundreds of thousands of foster children across the country. after we returned to washington, i joined my fellow co-chairs of the congressional caucus, representatives marino, mcdermott, bachmann and other members of the caucus to introduce the bipartisan, uninterrupted scholars act. this bill will address the concerns raised in florida by providing youth with the support they need to avoid problems like inappropriate course placement and lost credits upon changing schools. specifically it will simply allow case workers to access transcripts for foster youth while maintaining important prive privacy protections -- important privacy protections. children in foster care are among the most educationally at-risk of all student populations. because of the abuse and neglect of foster youth have experienced
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in their young lives, they often face physical and emotional challenges that interfere with their learning and negatively impact their educational outcomes. for example, the average child in foster care goes to three to five high schools. existing federal law requires the child welfare agencies include educational records in their case plan and work with school districts to improve the educational experiences and outcomes for children in foster care. however, the family educational rights and privacy act unintentionally creates a harmful barrier that prevents child welfare case workers from being able to quickly access school records necessary to help meet the educational needs of students in foster care. this can lead to significant delays that contribute to inappropriate class placements, enrollment delays, repeated classes, delayed graduation and even dropouts. the story of young gentleman's minute is an example of stories
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we heard during the listening tour. when gentleman's minute was placed in foster care on an emergency basis, her mother's whereabouts where unknown and the child welfare agency case worker was unable to obtain consent from any parent. without timely access to the child's education records, the case worker could not evaluate whether it would be in jasmine's best interest to remain in the same school. jasmine moved to a new school which are different graduation requirements, she received no credits for her course work from the prior school and had to repeat some of the same classes. she fell a full year behind and eventually dropped out of school. in my district, the los angeles department of children and family services is currently responsible for the placement and care for over 15,000 foster youth. the sheer size of this youth population, larger than most states, as well as the 82 different school districts within l.a. county make it particularly challenging to
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proactively address student needs without direct access to educational records. another example from the listening tour when we were in l.a. is vanessa. a fifth grader from -- who has a similar story. she was transferred from l.a. unified to another school district over 50 miles away while relocating to a new foster home. her records did not follow. therefore she was placed in a fourth grade classroom, a full grade level below her actual skill level in age. she consistently cried at meetings with teachers, she eventually advocated for herself and her classes were transferred, but in the meantime she missed two months of fifth grade. the uninterrupted scholars act would help avoid situations faced by young jasmine and vanessa by allowing child welfare case workers who have the legal responsibility for a foster child's care and welfare timely access to their educational records. at the same time, this bill protects and preserves the
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educational privacy rights of students and parents that we all want to safeguard. in the words of mary cagele, the director of legal services at the florida department of children and families, this bill fixes an existing conflict in federal law that is very simple and clear. the uninterrupted scholars act is endorsed by dozens of nationwide organizations including the national foster parents association, the national school boards association, child welfare legal of -- league of america and many others. today i stand with my bipartisan, bicameral colleagues in the congressional caucus on foster youth to ask for your support as well. we have a responsibility to foster youth and children who we have removed from their parents' care, youth who we promised to keep safe and help to succeed. the uninterrupted scholars act will help us keep this promise. thank you and i yield back the
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balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i'll continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee continues to reserve his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: i yield four minutes to the gentleman from washington, congressman mcdermott, a strong supporter of this legislation and an advocate on behalf foster children. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. mcdermott: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcdermott: thank you, mr. speaker. i urge my colleagues to endorse the amendments to senate bill 7432. but in talking about this, i want to talk about the process by which we got here. nothing ever goes as fast in the house of representatives as we
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want it to. and i want to commend my colleague, the ranking member on the education committee, george millerer, for his historic leadership on child welfare issues. he got here in the 1970's and there was nobody looking after kids. nobody. there was no focus anyplace in the congress. so he took it on. he had hearings and hearings and hearings and hearings and that brought about the bill that passed in 1980. it was called the adoption assistance and child welfare act of 1980. now, when i got here as a child psychiatrist, i looked around and saw there was some stuff to do and i wrote the fostering connections act which i authored and passed in the 2008 congress, with strong bipartisan support, with the intent of improving the lives of kids in foster care. we continued to look for a way to make this system really function. and although the 1980 act,
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through it the law gave the -- or to shift resources from temporary out of home care toward either providing services to a child or his or her family or finding other permanent adoptive homes. one of the key provisions of the fostering connections act was to better provide for educational stability. what we found was that kids constantly were moved and their records were lost, there were long delays and the single thing that gives them a real chance to make in this society, that is an education, was being denied by the bureaucracy that sort of thought, well, this is just -- we'll get the records there when we get the records there. so it's fitting that the ranking member on the education and work force committee is here to help guide this current legislation, making it easier for foster kids to succeed academically through
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the house today. why is education important? well, if you go to the same school, you know the people, you find a teacher, you find a teacher who might be interested in you, that a parent wasn't interested in you, or you had no one else in the world who was interested in you, but you found a teacher. and that's what the educational system has done to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of foster kids. now, we made this -- we thought, well, we'll just write into fostering connections a change in federal policy which makes sure that youth maintain some kind of continuity within their school when they're forced to move from home to home. it says that a state welfare agency must coordinate with educational agencies to ensure that a child remain in the schools in which he or she is enrolled at the time of placement. if remaining in the child's school of origin is not his or her best interest, the state must ensure the child is
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immediately enrolled in a new school without waiting weeks or months for paperwork. now, with fostering connections, seems like a simple thing to say that kids ought to continue in the same school. as with any law we pass, there's always this implementation period. and as a result it's taken us several years to figure out the problems and the barriers to successfully implementing this particular provision. many teachers and school administrators are still unaware of these provisions. many schools lack any coordinator or coordinating entity to facilitate cross-agency collaboration to serve the best interests of the child. . in addition, the family education and privacy right act -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. mcdermott: hinders child
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welfare agencies to meet the educational needs of kids in their care. child welfare agencies have difficulty in obtaining the school records of foster kids. students miss school waiting for school records to be transferred. we know that education is a predictor for future adult success yet too many children and foster youth are unable to get this start because of the barriers in our system. this piece of legislation is an attempt to break down those barriers and make it work more smoothly. the passage of the uninterrupted scholars act will help ensure that the needed coordination and help to ensure foster care youth succeed academicically. this will have positive impact for thousands of children in the foster care system. i encourage my colleagues to support it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: i thank the gentleman from from washington. i recognize the gentlewoman from texas four minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman from california for his leadership, long-standing leadership and the history of his emphasis on how important our children are. as a founder and chair of the congressional children's caucus, i'm delighted to have joined with congresswoman bass and various co-chairs of the foster care caucus and the bipartisan legislation that the uninterrupted scholars act is and the bicameral legislation
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and chairman kline of minnesota and senator landrieu for her leadership and partnership. i know of her interest in both domestic adoption and international adoption and certainly, unfortunately, the system of foster care has many times when it has not been attended to, been, if you will, a place of hopelessness. this legislation wants to provide a lifeline to foster care children particularly as they approach tage agers so they can be taken out of the abyss of hopelessness. i have had the opportunity to be able to meet with foster care children both in my district and here when they have lobbied on the hill and their stories are of passion and commitment of having a future, a commitment to sesk the nation, a commitment to making the difference. why shouldn't they have the
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opportunity to make a difference? why can't they be considered just like those who have different lifestyles, if you will, in terms of a family situation? so this legislation says that they should have as well that kind of order. and if it comes to a case worker who will have access to their records to be able to plan for them the best format whether to remain in a school or transfer to a school when they can't access that natural parent or natural relative that can stand in for that child. there is nothing more, if you will, desperate and disappointing to be able to find a child that has no hope, no one to turn to and really wants to accomplish, wants to graduate from high school. i believe this act is a very important provision that reflects the laws that have been passed dealing with privacy as it relates to records of
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children in post-secondary schools and the protection of school records. this, in particular, allows -- i would not want to call it, an exception, to release a student's education records to a case worker, state representative or tribal organization that has a right to access that student's case plan. and again, that helps those students be able to have a lifeline. just a week or so ago, there was an article in the "new york times" on three young people from texas, not necessarily foster care children, but it is indicative of what happens to children of less means and part of their lack of success was their inability to access the internet, to get timely notice that they were supposed to apply for a scholarship, to have their parents know they were supposed to modify their income sheet. if you can imagine, we just went through hurricane ike and this
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child's parents received aid. they were told they didn't meet the scholarship standards and they didn't modify. they said it was aid we received because of hurricane ike. this is what happens to foster care children. i'm delighted we have legislation. i want to thank mr. miller and thank mr. kline for their dedication and commitment to the nation's children. they are our precious resource and this act is one element of saying that they are important to us. let me again thank congresswoman bass and senator landrieu for their leadership as well. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: mr. speaker, the care and concern for foster children has been a bit of a
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relay race for myself back in the late 1970's and 19 0's, to senator long, to former congressman downy and former majority leader tom delay to senator landrieu, not karen bass from my state of california, congressman mcdermott before her. we tried to make sure that these young people with a lot of chaos in their life far beyond any of their own doing have a chance to succeed, and clearly the best chance to succeed is to see that they get a good education and an opportunity to participate in american society and america's economy. and this act, the uninterrupted scholars act, goes a long way toward helping their advocates making sure they get the best shot at the best education. i thank congressman roe, congressman kline for their support and willingness to bring
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it to bring it to the floor of the house so we can send it to the president of the united states. before i conclude my remarks, mr. speaker, i want to recognize a cherished member of my staff who will be leaving the committee at the beginning of january. she began her career with me as a fell oof more than a decade ago. because of her hard work and dedication and expertise, she became my education policy director on the committee. she is one of the foremost experts in early childhood policy and the children of this country benefited from her work on the education committee. ruth has spent her career fighting on issues like child welfare, juvenile justice, early learning, child care, child abuse prevention and treatment and worked on countless pieces of legislation successfully and today's bill and was instrumental in passing the 2007 head start re-authorization act.
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i thank ruth for her extraordinary service to me, to me, the committee and the nation and the nation's children. her advice and counsel has been invaluable and will be missed and she has great accomplishments ahead of her. ruth, i want to wish you, pete and dylan all of the best. thank you for your service to our committee on both sides of the aisle and to this nation's children. with that, mr. speaker, i ask my colleagues to support this legislation and yield back the balance of my time and thank congressman roe for managing this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i yield myself the remainder of my time and wish to conclude by saying, ruth, congratulations and thanks for all the hard work you have done for both sides of the aisle and the work you have done for the children of this nation. i want to thank senator landrieu and congresswoman bass, who is my next door neighbor in the cannon office building and ranking member miller for the
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work you have done for the children of this country and chairman kline. and i will conclude by saying i'm proud to support the uninterrupted scholars act and urge my colleagues a yes vote. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 3472. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. mr. roe: mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8, rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. smith: i move that the house concur if the senate amendment to h.r. 6029. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: ap an act to amend title 18 united states code to provide for increased penalties for foreign and economic espionage and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. smith, and the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. smith. mr. smith: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the matter currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: first of all, i want to thank judiciary committee chairman-elect and mel what the for their work on this bill. this deters and pun issues criminals who target u.s. economic and security interests on behalf of foreign interests. dynamic and globally information economy, the protection of intangible assets is vital not only to individual enterprises and entire industries. criminals have shifted personal information such as credit cards to the theft of corporate intellectual capital. our intelligence community has warned us that foreign interests plays a high priority on a sensitive economic information and technologies. in the u.s., the economic espionage act serves as the primary tool the federal government uses to project
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secret valuable information from theft. our intelligence community declares that there is a quote, significant and growing threat to our nation's prosperity and security end quote posed by criminals both inside and outside our borders who commit espionage. congress should recognize this increasing threat by adjusting our penalties so we can enhance deterrence and provide appropriate punishments to those criminals who knowingly target our companies for espionage. i urge support. the original bill was developed in a bipartisan manner in was unanimously reported by both the judiciary committee and this house. this is a commonsense and much needed measure that deserves our full support and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from re-- texas reserves. the gentleman from virginia. mr. scott: i rise in support of
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the foreign and economic espionage penalty act. the house passed this and senate recently passed this by unanimous consent. mr. speaker, h.r. 6029 will increase the maximum fines that may be imposed in economic espionage. it consists of knowingly misappropriating trade secrets with the intent or knowledge that it will benefit a foreign government. as reported by the coordinator, the economic espionage is a serious threat to american businesses and foreign governments. this represents a significant cost to victim companies and threatens the economic security of the united states. this crime inflicts loss of intellectual property, loss of expenditures related to research and development and loss of future receive news and profit.
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